Hyundai Motor breaks ground on Singapore center
Hyundai Motor Group broke ground on an innovation center in Singapore where cars and even flying vehicles will be tested.
Dubbed the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICS), this will be the first such center for the company, researching everything from ordering, manufacturing and delivery of vehicles to customers.
“I am confident the innovations that spring from HMGICS will shape our future global society for the better and contribute to the progress of humanity," said Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung during the groundbreaking ceremony, which was held online on Oct. 13.
Chung participated in the event from the carmaker’s Namyang research and development (R&D) center in Korea along with Korea's Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attended the event at a town hall from Singapore.
With an aim to complete construction by the end of 2022, the seven-story center will be built on a 44,000-square-meter (473,600-square-foot) plot of land in Jurong District in western Singapore.
On top of the building, there will be a 620-meter (2,034-foot) track where customers can test out vehicles that have just been produced in manufacturing facilities inside the building.
The rooftop will also have facilities for urban air mobility (UAM) — flying cars — which is a main pillar of Hyundai Motor’s future mobility businesses. The rooftop will also be used for solar panels to generate energy in an eco-friendly way. Hydrogen-generated electricity will also be used at the center, the carmaker said.
The center will have space for R&D staff from both Hyundai Motor and partner companies such as promising mobility start-ups.
The building will house mini-manufacturing facilities for small electric vehicles. Customers who visit HMGICS can order their cars through an online platform and directly watch their cars being made. Once the manufacturing process is finished, the car will be sent to the rooftop, where the customer can test-drive it.
The Korean automaker plans to use Singapore as a testbed for various mobility technologies that have yet to be commercialized, and use the center as a strategic base in Southeast Asia, where the automaker doesn't have a strong presence.
Singapore is known to be keen on new technology in logistics, finance, manufacturing and mobility businesses. Grab, a global car-sharing service is headquartered in Singapore and was able to quickly expand its business to food delivery, logistics and digital payment services.
“HMGICS is a major step forward for Hyundai Motor,” said Singapore Prime Minister Lee during the event. “Singapore’s goal is to have all our vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040. We hope this will open up new growth areas for our economy.”
BY JIN EUN-SOO [email@example.com]