Hyundai has kicked off the construction of a state-of-the-art electric car factory in Ulsan, South Korea. This happened during a festive ceremony at Hyundai’s former test complex in Ulsan, where Chung Ju-yung, founder of the Korean car brand, laid the foundation for today’s successes 50 years ago.
The new factory covers an area of 548,000 square meters. The construction involves an investment of $1.53 billion. Construction of the new factory will begin at the end of this year and will be completed in 2025. The first electric cars are expected to roll off the production line in early 2026. The annual capacity is 200,000 vehicles. An electric SUV from Genesis, the luxury brand of Hyundai Motor Group to which Kia also belongs, is the first model to be produced in the new factory.
A dream come true
The new EV factory in Ulsan is the start of a promising future for the next 50 years and the beginning of a new era of electrification. I am honored to share our dream of a 100-year company here. Our dream to build the best car once made Ulsan grow into a real car city. Now Hyundai aims to make Ulsan an innovative mobility city at the forefront of the era of electrification – starting with a dedicated EV factory.
In the brand new production facility in Ulsan, more attention is paid to people than ever before. The factory must provide an optimal working environment for employees, in line with the vision of Hyundai’s founder, Chung Ju-yung (1915-2001), who believed that the automotive industry should become the cornerstone of the Korean economy and would support the country’s industrial development. More than half a century ago, he chose Ulsan as the location to realize his mobility dreams for Korea and now the new EV factory builds on that promising legacy.
Innovative production platform
To future-proof the new facility and prioritize employee safety, Hyundai is deploying an innovative manufacturing platform developed by the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICS) to build the new factory. This production platform includes AI-based intelligent control systems; environmentally friendly construction methods to achieve carbon neutrality and RE100 certification (100 percent use of renewable energy) and the creation of people-friendly facilities that enable safe and efficient working.
Hyundai’s Ulsan production facility began in 1968 as a modest assembly plant. The development and subsequent mass production of Hyundai’s very first in-house model, the Pony, fueled explosive growth for the factory and demonstrated the determination and drive of its employees to create South Korea’s first independently developed car. Furthermore, the mass production of the Pony ensured technological independence; the production of car parts increasingly took place in-house, where it previously depended on the import of car parts from overseas. More than half a century later, Hyundai’s production facility in Ulsan is the largest standalone factory in the world.
The new EV factory will be Hyundai’s first new factory in Korea in 29 years, following the opening of the Asan factory in 1996. The new production facility will be a people-oriented factory in which employees build electric cars in an optimal working environment with additional attention to safety and a good and healthy working atmosphere. For example, even more natural light enters the factory, so that employees can – literally – feel the warmth of the sun.