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Hyundai Dropping the Electric Kona in South Korea

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Since Hyundai was forced to recall its electric-powered Kona due to fire risks, the small EV’s popularity has dropped around the globe. So much so that rumours have been circulating for a while regarding the future of the model, especially since the company is getting ready to launch its new Ioniq division, which is set to launch its first model, the Ioniq 5, in the coming weeks.

Now, we learn that the Kona Electric will be dropped from the brand’s roster in the automaker’s home market of South Korea. This is not a minor move. Korean news agency Yonhap reported that Hyundai is dropping the model due to ongoing recalls for battery fires. The company will instead focus on the Ioniq 5 and future models under that all-electric banner.

The reported fire cases and subsequent recalls have turned the Kona Electric from a best seller to a more... marginal model. The company reported a 40 percent drop in sales in the first quarter of 2021 compared to last year. However, a Hyundai spokesperson told Roadshow that there are no plans to discontinue the Kona Electric in the U.S. at this time.

Hyundai Kona Electric, front
Photo: D.Boshouwers
Hyundai Kona Electric, front

This is a story we'll be following closely, as the Kona remains a very popular model here, especially in its electric form. And for Hyundai, there are surely many, many fingers and toes crossed in the hope there are no problems with its new Ioniq-branded models.

Consumer confidence is weakened when recalls pile up involving a model - and that’s even more so when they involve fire risks.