Automotive Production Returns to Singapore after 40 Years with Hyundai Electric Vehicle Investment

By Bob Gill

Set for construction completion at the end of 2022 at an investment cost of almost S$400 million (US$295 million), the new Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center (HMGICS) in Singapore features an electric car factory with targeted production of 30,000 electric vehicles by 2025.  It makes use of Industry 4.0 smart technologies, such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and robotics, and the logistics and assembly lines within HMGICS will be highly automated to establish a safe and efficient work environment.

electric vehicle investment

The Hyundai facility, located in the Jurong Innovation District, which already houses an ecosystem of researchers, technology partners and advanced factories marks the return of automotive assembly to Singapore for the first time since 1980, when low volume car production  became economically unviable for the small island nation, and the last plant (Ford) shuttered its doors.

As outlined by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the groundbreaking ceremony, electric vehicles have a different supply chain, fewer mechanical parts and more electronics, which plays to Singapore’s strength and will stimulate  new growth areas for the economy, as well as create “exciting jobs” for Singaporeans, such as IoT engineers, data scientists, cobot technicians, and digital supply chain strategists.

Hyundai’s ambition to realize a customer-centered smart mobility environment where products are tailored to individual preferences is illustrated by a make-to-order feature whereby customers can customize and purchase vehicles online using a smartphone.  This immediately triggers production using Hyundai’s on-demand technology, and customers can even watch their car being manufactured.  Once the car is ready for delivery, it is transferred to the 620-meter-long Sky Track test drive facility on top of the 7-story building, where customers can try out their brand new purchase.

Other high-tech aspects of the HGMICS environment are a landing port for drones and the use of solar panels and fuel cells to prove the site with clean renewable energy.  The center also will explore new business concepts, including BaaS (battery-as-a-service) in order to enhance customers’ experiences of EV ownership.

To drive the Korean company’s future mobility research and development, HGMICS’ open innovation lab will be home to the Hyundai Group R&D experts from around the world, including members of the Hyundai CRADLE innovation hub and AI Research (AIR) Center.  Affiliate companies, such as Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Glovis, Hyundai Autoever, Hyundai WIA, Hyundai Rotem and Hyundai Transys, will also take part in HMGICS.

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