More than just another carmaker: Touring Hyundai’s Mega factory HQ in Indonesia

When we think of Hyundai as a brand in the Philippines the reviews are generally mixed. The brand has experienced growing pains and difficult acceptance during the late 90’s to the strong success of the ’00s to 10’s, and the stagnation these past few years.

Just last year though new life was injected into the Hyundai brand locally and the trajectory has been upward ever since, In fact, HMPH just celebrated their 1 year anniversary. Despite the newfound image and momentum behind the brand and the fact that they are peaking in terms of great product offerings (at least I think so) I always struggled to understand what the brand really means or stands for.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like the Stargazer and the IONIQ vehicles but what’s the story? what’s that unique thing about them that will make me or anybody a potential customer?

My questions were answered during a trip to Hyundai’s South East Asian HQ and factory in Indonesia.

Hyundai Indonesia Plant

Hyundai Mega Factory

Before going to the factory I had tried to read more about the manufacturing plant and its impact on the grander scheme of things for the Hyundai brand. This factory is situated just outside the main city of Jakarta Indonesia in an industrial park much like what we find in Sta. Rosa Laguna or Carmeltown in Calamba.

One thing I immediately noticed while traversing this industrial park is how much more modern and sizable the factories are compared to what we have in the Philippines, and the brands operating them were true household names. The fact is that Indonesia has a lot of land area to utilize for industrial purposes, even if they are like us in terms of being separated by water between some islands, the islands themselves are enormous and ripe for industrial infrastructure.

Hyundai Indonesia Plant

As we made our way deeper into the industrial park, the audible gasps and shock of my fellow media colleagues echoed throughout the bus. We had finally laid our eyes on the Hyundai Factory, and the photos don’t do justice to the size of the whole complex. As we entered the gates we were immediately escorted by an IONIQ 5 security vehicle to what is probably the visitors center for a quick briefing and lowdown on what exactly happens in this mega facility.

Hyundai Indonesia Plant

We were told that the whole area is around 77 hectares, and the processes found inside the various buildings range from storage, panel stamping, painting, vehicle assembly and testing, and so on. To make the long story short the Indonesia factory can fully assemble a vehicle from the ground up for local or export consumption. This facility though tries to not be an impediment to the sustainable world we live in nowadays, with the building roofs almost covered in solar panels, furthermore with a dominantly Muslim population the cafeteria is Halal certified.

The factory itself produces the IONIQ 5 (for Indonesia), Stargazer, Stargazer X, and Creta for local and global markets. Yes, you read that right, the Indonesia plant not only makes cars for ASEAN but we saw some vehicles destined for South America.

Hyundai Indonesia Plant

Tour de Hyundai

After the briefing, we were first brought to the safety training center, in order for us to understand how the brand takes safety very seriously. Almost all the equipment used to train and keep the workers safe is brought in from South Korea. Each potential factory worker is taught how to react and operate during certain emergency situations, in some cases the workers are even asked to participate in safety demonstrations.

Hyundai Indonesia Plant

After the safety center, we moved on to the manufacturing plants, with the first stop being the stamping area where we saw panels of the vehicles being metal stamped to the highest standard before making their way to assembly. The next area was where the stamped metal panels start to be welded together by (Hyundai) robots with such precision to ensure that the vehicle’s structural integrity is intact.

Hyundai Indonesia Plant

From there the vehicle moves to the engine area, unfortunately, we were unable to visit this place due to safety reasons because a special ‘clean suit’ is needed to enter. After the engine and other bits are attached the vehicle is moved toward the assembly area where interior panels, glass, and other small parts are attached by both robots and workers. Eventually, a finished vehicle is rigorously tested for quality control before it gets the sign of approval.

Hyundai Indonesia Plant

The Hyundai Way

This whole process was mesmerizing for me, as a fan of watching MegaFactories on the Discovery channel to be able to see it in real life was an experience in itself. What I did take away from the whole experience though, is how dedicated the brand is to not selling vehicles, but how they realize that a cohesive, healthy, and sustainable ecosystem results in quality products. let me explain…

I mentioned how the cafeteria is Halal certified, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. A sizable and awe-inspiring mosque was constructed for the Muslim workers. The assembly area is fully air-conditioned which is a first for Indonesia (according to the brand), and the workers on the assembly floor are given exoskeleton suits that aid in keeping them safe and comfortable all throughout their shift.

Hyundai Indonesia Plant

All these things add up, a happy workforce means sustained productivity and consistent quality. It really shows that the final products are some of the best in quality and fit and finish, the Stargazer and Creta are all the craze now because they offer excellent build quality at affordable prices.

That for me has answered my vital questions, Hyundai has created a holistic approach to how it makes its vehicles. The brand is able to succeed now more than ever because of the “Hyundai Way”, where everybody and everything matters, and working towards a common goal is beneficial not just for the bottom line, but for everyone involved.


Pablo Salapantan

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo's first word was probably "Car", and this has developed into a personal passion that has consumed his professional life as well.

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