Hyundai has a lot riding on the Ioniq 5, the first battery-electric vehicle built on its new E-GMP platform that will underpin a multitude of future models. The retro-styled crossover has been on sale in Europe and South Korea since the second quarter of this year, while Hyundai’s U.S. website initially listed a fall 2021 release. That ETA was updated to winter 2021 this week, triggering concern that production had been delayed.
Why the apparent setback? We reached out to Hyundai for clarification, and PR manager Brandon Ramirez told us that the Ioniq 5's planned October start of production actually hasn’t changed at all. Rather, the language was updated from fall to winter for marketing reasons, because that’s when the majority of dealerships are expected to have cars in stock. Some may get them in earlier. Winter begins December 21, by the way.
At worst, that’s a couple of weeks further out than perhaps some reservation holders may have expected. And in this age of supply chain disruptions up and down the industry, it’s not a stretch to think snags here and there could’ve nudged Hyundai’s schedule to some degree, just over the line into winter. Back in March, for example, newspaper Korea JoongAng Daily reported that the Ioniq 5's production schedule was slashed considerably at the automaker’s Ulsan, South Korea plant from 10,000 to 2,600 units, due to a shortage of electric motors.
Ultimately, Hyundai is still adamant that you’ll see the Ioniq 5 in most showrooms before the year is out. This doesn’t appear to be one of those cases where a vague push to winter means, say, March.
More recently, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 has reportedly met its share of delays. However, that appears to have more to do with last-minute engineering changes made in the hopes of extending the sedan’s range, alongside downtime for production line retooling according to Electrive.
Meanwhile, Kia’s first E-GMP car, the EV6, is still on track to hit dealers in January, meaning it shouldn’t lag far behind the Ioniq 5. If you’re curious about that one, our David Tracy had quite a bit to say on the EV6's engineering as well as his experience behind the wheel of a preproduction example in Germany.