A Walk through Hyundai Motor's Chennai plant

Car Dekho Posted online: Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014 at 0000 hrs
We took a tour of the Hyundai Motor’s car manufacturing plant in Sriperumbudur near Chennai to witness the manufacturing process live. The Korean auto giant has invested more than 2.7 billion US$ along with vendor investment of 1.2 billion US$ in Tamil Nadu, becoming the largest investor in the region.

The Chennai plant in present times is an example of highest level of development with advance production process, quality and testing know-how. Scattered over an area of 535 acres, the two production plant inside the facility are capable of producing 6,80,000 units where Plant 1 produces 3,30,000 units while other manages 3,50,000 units annually. Both the plant together has a workforce of 9,500 people.

The global brand value of the company has reached at 9 billion US$ while the current growth rate is estimated at around 20.5%. For the past eight years in a row, Hyundai Motors India Limited has been the no.1 exporter. In FY 2013, Hyundai managed to sell 3,80,000 units in the domestic market while exporting 1,10,000 units. In first quarter of 2014, Hyundai sold a total of 1,37,661 vehicles while export figures were 56,187 units in the same time-span.

There are 119 Korean and Indian vendors working with the company which forms the 66 percent of the total component supply chain. The remaining 34 percent components are produced by the company itself. Out of 119 companies, 42 are Korean vendors which are responsible for providing engine parts, body parts, headlamps, AC and seats. The rest 77 are Indian vendors who provides battery, muffler, steel wheel, accelerator and the alternator for the vehicles.

Being one of the largest autos manufacturing plant in India, the Chennai Hyundai plant has an eco-friendly environment which focuses on conserving resources and reducing pollution level as much as possible. It recycles 100 percent of the waste water and the treated water is reused for other processes in the plant. The treated sewage water is utilized in the landscape. Moreover, the leftover paint sludge is processed once again and is sent to cement industries for co-processing. The eco-friendly nature is best seen on the 56 acre green belt where rain water harvesting is done on a mass scale with a collection of 2.75 lakh kilo liters of water via 4 ponds. The green belt area has lawn, flowering shrubs, a large cluster of 20,666 trees and about 35,000 saplings. Furthermore, the wood that is left over by the packing material is recycled to make in-house furniture and remaining is donated to schools in the form of benches.

Moving further in the eco-friendly environment, Hyundai has plans to reduce carbon footprints by about 3-4 percent annually. In this respect, it has been using energy efficient T5 lamps and motors in the production departments. It is also monitoring online the auto switch off system for its electrical equipments, solar light pipes that are used in office lightning, solar water heating system, LED lights for streets and performing other such eco-friendly practices. There are heat recovery systems installed in order to save propane gas consumption. For such unique contribution to the mother nature and for its notable efforts, Hyundai was honored by ‘Green Award’ for 2011-12 by the government of Tamil Nadu.

Coming back to the production process, the car panels are pressed at the 'Press' department and welded at the 'Body' department which is mostly automated. The conveyor then moves to the 'Paint' department where eco-friendly water based process is installed. Furthermore, the bodies are directed towards 'Assembly' department where they first undergo through 'Trim Line', then onto the 'Chassis Line' where major components like engine and suspension are fitted. From Chassis line, at the end - 'Final Line'. The most important part is the quality check 'OK Line' for thorough inspection for fit and finish and then is sent to Roll & Brake testing. Now, road test comes into the picture to test. It then moves to showers and then lastly to the Finish Inspection line.

Besides this, Hyundai is also active in social field. It has formed a separate wing in 2006 for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the name Hyundai Motor India Foundation (HMIF) which works in the field of education and vocational training, health care, road safety, environment, science, art, technology, etc. Other activities of the foundation also include Hyundai Traffic Squad, Happy Move, Hyundai Driving School and Medical Camps. The department is directly funded from the earnings of the company with a contribution of Rs.100 for each car sold in the market.

Hyundai has been witnessing a decent growth in recent times with cars like Grand i10 and Xcent proving sizzlers while its 388 strong dealers network and 1000 service points across the country will see further expansion during this year. Hyundai will also add a diesel plant within its Chennai facility to allay the demands of diesel cars.