Kia to focus on electric, Hyundai on plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles

Word from the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show is that there are dividing lines forming in the Hyundai- Kia Automotive Group: Kia will focus solely on electric vehicles, while Hyundai will develop plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. This according to Yang Woong-chul, vice-president of the automotive group.

Under the new strategy, Kia will manufacture the group's first highway-capable electric vehicle with the codename "TAM." This vehicle is tentatively slated to launch by the end of 2011.

Meanwhile, Hyundai, with its fuel cell technological advantage, will continue to focus on refining its hydrogen-fueled Tuscon ix FCEV and reportedly is on track to debut a plug-in hybrid vehicle by the end of 2013.

What do you think about a split approach that will likely mean Hyundai will be without an electric vehicle during a time when virtually all automakers are readying EVs? The two companies could share technologies fairly easily if needed, but could the strategy backfire if Hyundai's commitment to fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles proves too intense?

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