Before we got to experience what the Hyundai Motors factory is really like, we assumed Hyundai was just another South Korean car company. The ocean side Ulsan Plant, located in the south- western part of the country is a sprawling complex with dozens of different buildings all incorporating everything from management to basic parts production. The buildings were not very unique, just a simple gray colour, but the factory area is beautifully covered with trees and flowers surrounding the buildings.
As we entered the factory, it became obvious that it was quite loud and very active. Our first impression was just how condensed the workspace was. They use virtually every space in the building, whether for storage or the actual assembly. Like virtually all other car companies, Hyundai Motors uses an assembly line system. They have five different production buildings, each producing three types of cars, everything from the luxury Equus to trucks for businesses. Each facility can produce one or two models at a time.
Hyundai is a very efficient car company; it rolls out a new car approximately every 10 seconds. Each car needs 20 hours from the very start of production to a finished product. Of these 20 hours, only five hours are spent on the assembly line in the facility that we visited. It takes 20,000 different pieces to assemble the whole car.
During the tour, our guide mentioned a few things that gave us a different perspective on how successful Hyundai Motors has become. Last year, over 4 million units were produced and 1.1 million units were exported to over 200 nations. This year, including Kia, produced over 7 million units. It will definitely be an experience that won’t be forgotten!
Ian, Thaddeus, and Sonya