Hyundai to roll out first S’pore-assembled cars in first half of 2023

Hyundai Motor's head of sales innovation group Andy Kang with a Hyundai Ioniq 5 bearing 'EVS 1L' plate. ST PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER TAN

SINGAPORE - After a delay partly owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, South Korean vehicle manufacturer Hyundai Motor’s assembly plant in Singapore will start rolling out the electric Ioniq 5 in the first half of this year.

To mark the occasion, the company will hold a charity auction for the number plates of its first 100 cars assembled in Singapore.

These cars will bear special number plates with the EVS prefix, which stands for EV made in Singapore.

The company hopes to raise $400,000 for charity.

The Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre in Jurong, the site of Singapore’s first vehicle assembly plant in more than 40 years, is expected to be completed in April, said Mr Andy Kang, Hyundai Motor’s head of sales innovation group.

It was originally slated to be completed last November.

Mr Kang told The Straits Times on Wednesday that the plant will initially import the car’s fully painted body shell from its newly opened factory in Indonesia, with all other parts shipped in from South Korea.

He added that Hyundai is looking to source parts from Singapore automotive component makers once its production volume ramps up.

The plant is slated to produce up to 30,000 vehicles a year by 2025.

Besides the Ioniq 5, the newly unveiled Ioniq 6 and new Kona Electric will be assembled in the Jurong facility too.

When in full swing, the highly automated assembly will be manned by no more than 30 people.

Apart from a “Made in Singapore” sticker on the door frames, the Singapore-assembled Ioniq 5 is identical to its crossovers made in South Korea and Indonesia.

Besides the special number plates, the first 100 units will also have a Merlion sticker on the boot lid and embossed front headrests reading “First 100”.

Hyundai will hold the charity auction between Jan 12 and 16 to raise funds for the President’s Challenge.

Bids start from $1,000, with minimum increments of $100. The numbers are from EVS 1L to EVS 100J. Bidding can be done at https://str.sg/wFNx

The Straits Times understands that the special plates are not transferrable, and will retire once the cars they are attached to are deregistered.

This is the first time such plates are allowed here. Previously, special number plates were allowed only for the duration of events such as the World Economic Forum and the Youth Olympics.

The Jurong plant’s operation involves putting together vehicle body shells from Indonesia and chassis and components from South Korea. ST PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER TAN

Mr Kang said the first 100 cars will be high-powered twin-motor long-range models priced at $147,800 before the certificate of entitlement (COE) price is factored in.

A single-motor standard-range model starting from around $100,000, before COE, will follow.

Mr Kang indicated that a third model will be the mass seller.

“We aim to become the No. 1 EV brand in Singapore,” he said, referring to the sales position currently held by Tesla.

To entice consumers, Hyundai is offering a 10-year, 160,000km warranty on the Ioniq 5’s battery at 70 per cent, which means that if the battery fails to retain 70 per cent of its charge any time before the 10th year, Hyundai will replace it.

This is more comprehensive than many other electric vehicles’ warranty, but lags behind Toyota’s warranty of 10 years, 240,000km at 90 per cent.

The first 100 Singapore-assembled Ioniq 5 cars will have special stickers. ST PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER TAN

Hyundai is also throwing in 10 years of free servicing, with terms and conditions.

The company is displaying a demonstration model bearing the EVS 1L plate at the Singapore Motorshow, which will be held from Thursday to Sunday at Suntec Singapore.

Hyundai’s Jurong facility, built at a cost of $400 million, will include a customer centre where car buyers can place an order for an electric car and pick it up there.

Mr Kang said customers can continue to buy vehicles from its sole dealer, Komoco.

“Customers can choose. There will be no difference,” he added.

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