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What We Can Learn From Hyundai - Are They Disrupting Tesla?

Tesla has changed the automotive industry, and some competitors are catching up.

Telsa proved that electric cars could be for everyone. Previous models can lead to cheaper, innovative future models; the Model 3 and Y were made possible by Roadster, Model S, and X. Dealerships are not required if you have a great product, as enthusiasts will promote your product at no cost. Also, people will wait if it is something they want, and inventory costs can be dramatically reduced as cars are no longer sitting on the lot waiting for a buyer.

Hyundai released an electric car last year known as the IONIQ 5, possibly disrupting Tesla … how is this;

  • Hyundai loaned some cars to YouTube Tesla enthusiasts (very bold), and some are raving about it! Here is an example"it is better than the Model Y in a lot of ways" - Gjeebs. Gjeebs has over 50K subscribers on his channel, created to predominately talk about his Model Y.

  • The IONIQ 5 model competes directly with the Model Y, but it looks retro like an SUV DeLorean and strikes a chord with many considering a different looking EV.

  • Rather than copying the Model Y (Elon forecasts this will sell more models than all the other Tesla models combined due to its practicality), Hyundai chose to do something radically different.

How did Hyundai achieve this?

  • They built the model from the bottom up, not repurposing a traditional combustion engine model

  • They removed their dealership sales channel

  • They have unknown release dates to order cars, and you must register your interest to receive the opportunity. One occurred this week (more on this below)

  • Fixed pricing like Tesla with no haggling

  • They were BOLD and committed to a complete change in their business model for the IONIQ 5.

The outcome is multiple industry awards. It reminded me very much of some MIT principles that I leant in 2018;

  • Costs; you don't have to be the lowest cost if you can differentiate

  • Who controls the relationship? A direct and exclusive relationship is one of the strongest

  • In the world of search, multiple social endorsements can be better than a known brand

  • Ease of ordering, make it simple and sticky by engaging customers within your ecosystem. When registering to be informed of a release, Hyundai asks you to spec your vehicle, and many accessories are available also. The process is exceptionally efficient.

I registered interest for IONIQ 5 in February, and I received an exclusive invitation link to the online ordering event this week. I logged in promptly at 1 pm to find my preferred configuration sold out. I quickly chose another and missed out on this also. At 1.05 pm, the website advised they were completely sold out - incredible, read more here.

I mentor executives on Disruption learn more here.


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