PARIS -- Hyundai Europe will not follow Tesla and cut the prices of its full-electric models to preserve residual values.
"You have to have a logic in your pricing," Hyundai Europe CEO Michael Cole told the the Automotive News Europe Congress here on Wednesday. "Our logic takes into account competitiveness, sales targets and profitability ... we have to give customers and financial partners consistency in pricing. That, in turn, enhances the residual value of the vehicle."
Residual values are important, Cole said, because few people are purchasing cars, instead they choosing to lease them.
"This makes the monthly payment on such contracts important, and with good residual values we can be extremely competitive on monthly payments," he said.
Hyundai "is having great success in Europe," Cole said, referencing its continued sales growth compared with 2022, when it increased its market share by a full point to 4.7 percent from 3.7 percent.
Cole said the brand's orders have slowed down from last year when they were "excessively good" and "potentially not good for the business, because of the long delivery times."
Cole said the average waiting time to get Hyundai is about three months, but some cars in some markets can take as little as 30 day from order to delivery.
Full-electric models accounted for 16 percent of Hyundai's overall volume last year and Cole expects that figure to rise, but he didn't give a target for 2023.
The Ioniq 6 sedan joined the Ioniq 5 crossover and deliveries of the full-electric version of the new Kona small SUV will start in the third quarter. The Ioniq 7 large SUV will arrive in Europe in the second half of 2024, Cole said.
Starting with the new version unveiled earlier this year, all full-electric Konas will come from Hyundai's plant in Nosovice, Czech Republic. A percentage of the previous Kona EV's output came from South Korea.
Cole said that to reach the EU target of reducing the average CO2 emissions by 55 percent in 2030 compared with 2021, Hyundai will need full-electric models to account for 65 percent of its overall European sales.
More than one-third of the remaining volume will still have a combustion engine. Cole said that will include hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
When asked about his views on the controversial proposed Euro 7 emissions standard, Cole said Hyundai is fully committed to the emission reduction, but said funds needed to invest in future EV technologies shouldn’t be diverted to investment in technologies that will eventually be phased out.
"We think the cost of complying with the Euro 7 regulation is disproportionate to the benefits," he said, "which are pretty small versus the Euro 6 vehicles."