Hyundai Australia is looking to give its customers more choice and personalisation options, as supply opens up for its Ioniq electric vehicles.
Speaking with media at the launch of the new Ioniq 6 EV, product planning and development manager for Hyundai’s local division, Tim Rodgers, said a Build to Order program will afford Ioniq customers more choice not just in terms of colour and trim options, but also offer more scope for a line-up expansion.
“The simplest iteration [of Build to Order] is offering colour choice, but actually I don’t think we want to do just that,” Mr Rodgers said.
“If we want to say Build to Order seriously, we should be offering new options, but that’s something we’ll have to play with based on the amount of supply we can get.”
“The more complexity we add, it’ll be much more difficult to secure those units out of the factory. But, I would like to think we’d be able to offer more choices than just colour,” he added.
Using the Ioniq 6 as an example, Hyundai offers no less than eight exterior paint options as well as a dizzying four separate interior colour colour choices. However, the interiors are tied to specific exterior colours as it currently stands, unlike some other models like the Santa Fe and Palisade.
It also relegates the single-motor RWD drivetrain to only the base variant, which Mr Rodgers also said could be changed with the introduction of a Build to Order program.
During a separate media conference, ideal scenarios included a lower-spec entry version of Ioniq 6 to bring down the starting price below the current $74,000 base sticker, as well as offering some of the higher-end options on lower grades – such as the heat pump and camera-based Digital Side Mirrors.
Time will tell if this is achievable, given Hyundai Australia is forecasting a maximum of 3000 units in 2023 across Ioniq 5, Ioniq 5 N (coming late 2023) and Ioniq 6.
Supply should open up further in 2024 with the release of the un-revealed Ioniq 7 SUV flagship, with the local arm indicating it expects 6000 units across its Ioniq line-up.
Mr Rodgers indicated the brand will aim to have at least an announcement on the program before the end of this year.
Once live, customers theoretically should be able to make a factory order which would have an allotted wait time, or choose from a pre-configured vehicle that is either in stock already or on its way into the country.
Hyundai’s announcement comes after Kia’s local boss voiced the sister brand’s intentions to offer a similar program in Australia – dubbed Order To Deliver.
Damien Meredith, chief operating officer for Kia Australia, told CarExpert earlier this year the local arm is aiming to have such an initiative online in the next two years or so, which should give Aussie customers access to more of the colour and trim options available in the global portfolio.
“We’ve been big on keeping things as simple as possible,” Mr Meredith said.
“If product planning had their way we’d have 15 colours [for everything], but we like to keep things pretty tight and simplistic. But with OTD (Order To Deliver), it is going to happen.”
“It will happen where a customer will come in and say ‘I want this, this, this and this’, and then in 90 days they’ll get their car in production. It’s not happening tomorrow, but in the next couple of years it will.”
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