SINGAPORE: A S$400 million Hyundai innovation centre in Singapore focusing on future mobility research and development is set to be completed by the end of 2022.
The facility will develop new automotive technologies, including for the production of electric cars, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the virtual groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday (Oct 13).
Named the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre (HMGICS), the facility could produce up to 30,000 vehicles per year by 2025.
“Siting the facility here takes advantage of Singapore’s strengths, for example in advanced manufacturing and logistics,” said Mr Lee.
Located in the Jurong Innovation District, the centre will also be able to pilot new manufacturing models to meet the demand for mass personalisation of cars through small-scale factories in urban areas.
“Singapore has also been developing our plans for autonomous and electric vehicle research and development,” said Mr Lee. “I am glad that Hyundai has invested in a joint venture, Motional, which conducts R&D and our autonomous vehicle trials here.”
In August, Motional – a joint venture by Hyundai and self-driving technology firm Aptiv – said it would continue to hire in Singapore despite the COVID-19 downturn.
In his speech on Tuesday, Mr Lee said the new centre was “an important milestone” for the economic relationship between Singapore and South Korea.
“It will pave the way for more Korean companies to invest here, partner with local suppliers and SMEs, and collaborate with our universities and research institutes,” he said.
Said Mr Sung Yun-mo, the Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy: “Korea and Singapore have cooperated on multiple fronts and the HMGICS represents a new milestone in the continuing collaboration between our two nations.
“The key to this collaboration will lie in finding ways to bring together our respective strengths.”
The innovation centre will be home to the Hyundai group’s research and development experts from around the world. But the collaboration will go beyond the group and into the Singaporean innovation ecosystem, said Hyundai.
Singapore universities, startups and research institutes including Nanyang Technological University – Hyundai’s first local academic research partner – will also collaborate through the open innovation lab.
“Singapore’s goal is to have all our vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040,” said Mr Lee.
Having the first electronic vehicle manufacturing facility in Singapore shows that it is “taking another step to anchor the value chain”, he added.
Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board Dr Beh Swan Gin said that the new centre will introduce “important new capabilities in areas such as electric vehicles and urban air mobility” and will “create new opportunities for Singaporeans”.
Meanwhile, JTC CEO Mr Tan Boon Khai said the Jurong Innovation District is “shaping up well as a top-tier innovation ecosystem, with many top multinational giants joining in recent years”.
“We will continue to bring together the best in advanced manufacturing and change the way all stakeholders collaborate to build the future of this industry,” Mr Tan added.
CUSTOMERS CAN WATCH CARS BEING MANUFACTURED
Customers visiting the centre will be able to customise and purchase vehicles online using their smartphones, said Hyundai in a media release.
With Hyundai’s on-demand technology, customers can then watch their car being manufactured.
When the car is ready for delivery, it will be transferred to a 620m-long Sky Track, located at the top of the centre’s seven-storey innovation lab, for test drives.
Additionally, the facility will have a landing port for Urban Air Mobility, as well as solar panels to provide the site with clean renewable energy.