President and CEO of JD Power, Dave Habiger, had a one-on-one chat with Hyundai Motor America's CEO, Randy Parker, about the company's outlook for 2023.
The company found that while crisis has become a common thread in the last few years specifically, two rules keep Hyundai operating and growing the way they want:
Parker shared that Hyundai decided to focus on retail by putting the fleet business on hold for nearly ten months in 2022. By October, they started allocating some production for fleet business. The year ended with just 2% of their total sales in the fleet space.
Dealers and retail.
While the brand has plans to ramp fleet sales back up over the year, retail sales through the dealer network will remain a priority.
The future and the "future."
Hyundai and the White House celebrated a robust new investment plan by the Korean automaker in US manufacturing back in May. Later in the year, the Inflation Reduction Act removed Hyundai from tax credit eligibility. The company is working to ensure the first car off the assembly line in 2025 will qualify.
"We believe in what the government is doing," Parker said, "but if we don't slow down, we may compromise the transition from ICE to EV." He said of the Biden admin's moves toward EV adoption and localizing the supply chain.
Beyond the next few years of maintaining a mighty presence in the auto market, he shared the company's fascination with robotics and urban air mobility. Under the leadership of Group Chairman Euisun Chung, the company is constantly keeping an eye on what mobility will be in 10, 20, 50 years in the future.
What do dealers do now?
Recession talk and a persistently uncertain global supply chain have many in the industry fixing their roof before the rain starts. Parker's advice for coming out stronger on the other side started with acknowledging that in 2023 the affordability crisis will be our new reality.
Get back to fundamentals, and treat the affordability issue like it will be as industry-changing as covid or the chip shortage, not in fear but in an experienced and measured ability to thrive through change and challenge.