Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA) has started rolling the 1.3 t H100 light commercial vehicle (LCV) off the newly established production line at the Commercial Vehicles Division’s assembly plant in Benoni, Gauteng.
With nearly 450 of the currently imported H100 “bakkies” sold each month, the factory aimed to locally assemble more than one-third of Hyundai’s most popular workhorses for the commercial market in South Africa.
More than 60 000 of the LCVs, which had up to now been manufactured in South Korea, have been sold in South Africa in the last 15 years, said HASA marketing director Stanley Anderson during a media tour of the assembly plant on Friday.
After producing the first fourth-generation H100 in February, Hyundai had now moved into producing its “second batch” of 60 H100 bakkies, steadily ramping up to full semi-knocked-down assembly production of 360 vehicles a month by September.
The components of the H100, such as the engine, cabin, seats, tyres and different suspension elements of the ladder-frame chassis, were imported from South Korea.
In line with this, Hyundai Motor Company sent a team of five engineers to the assembly plant in February to oversee quality control procedures and to train and upskill the local workforce of 37 people.
The balance of the required vehicles – around 100 – would be imported fully built from Ulsan in South Korea for distribution to Hyundai’s coastal markets to save on freight costs.
The R110-million factory was opened last year for the initial production of the HD truck range, the first of which was assembled in July.