Hyundai Motor Group has launched a new automotive plant in Cikarang, Indonesia. It is the company's first factory in Southeast Asia, and it will serve as a central manufacturing hub for markets in the region.
Hyundai completed construction in December 2021, with the plant now set to run with a 150,000-unit initial production capacity. With a hefty investment of $1.55 billion USD, Hyundai plans to increase its production to 250,000 units.
The new Indonesian plant will reportedly build several models, including the Santa Fe mid-size crossover. Could it make the model more affordable in the Philippine market? That remains to be seen, but it's certainly possible if the chips fall into place. Apart from the Santa Fe, the factory will also produce models like the Creta and the all-electric Ioniq 5. The latter will become Indonesia's first-ever locally assembled electric vehicle (EV). It's not yet clear if Hyundai plans to share the factory with its subsidiary, Kia Motors.
Indonesia could become an EV powerhouse in Southeast Asia, especially as Hyundai is also partnering with LG to build a battery cell factory in Karawang. That could reportedly finish construction by 2023 and start production by 2024.
The news might be good for the local market, as a new EV supplier in our neighboring country could accelerate our transition to an electric future. Hyundai Philippines has yet to introduce an EV into the fold, but an Indonesian-built Ioniq 5 could make sense for the brand.
More than that, several new gas-powered Hyundai models could also enter the Philippines. More affordable vehicles from the South Korean company will intensify local competition and help grow the industry as a whole. In any case, we'll find out what Hyundai does in the coming months as it ramps up production in its new Indonesian plant.