Brian Joss –
Factory helps to create jobs
Hyundai has started production of the H100 bakkie at its assembly plant in Benoni on the East Rand – six months after the factory was opened in September last year, for the production of the HD truck range.
H100 bakkies assembled from components imported from South Korea are now produced daily for the South African market is also helping to create jobs for factory workers.
“The establishment of the H100 production line forms part of a capital investment of about R110 million in the Commercial Vehicles Division of Hyundai in South Africa. There are financial rewards for us, but one of the important benefits of this extension of our SKD production is job creation,” said Wade Griffin, director for commercial vehicles at Hyundai Automotive SA.
One of the reasons why the 1.3 ton bakkie (H100) was considered for local assembly is because it is one of the most successful vehicles in the model range of Hyundai. The H100 has operated worldwide and is one of the toughest light commercial vehicles available today, according to Griffin.
“Close to 60 000 of the H100 bakkies have been sold since Hyundai SA started operating in 2000, and it has become a workhorse for many businesses and organisations in South Africa. It has a proven track record of reliability and is also a suitable all-round vehicle for a small family business,” Griffin said.
Griffin said a full-time quality control engineer does duty at the assembly plant, and Hyundai Motor Company sent a team of five engineers to to oversee quality control procedures and to train the local workforce at the factory.
Assembly of the second batch of 60 H100 units has already started with the aim of rolling out 360 bakkies a month when full production is reached in September.
Components of the H100, such as the engine, cabin, seats, tyres and different suspension elements of the ladder-frame chassis of the bakkie, arrive in containers – packed economically and reducing the freight costs associated with the importation of a fully built-up unit.
“This second phase of SKD assembly at the Apex plant has increased the number of employees on the site to 51, with further potential growth of the factory’s workforce.
“If one considers the indirect effect at an average ratio of 7 to 1 that the employment of a single worker has on those that they support, then the establishment of the assembly has already touched the lives of about 370 people,” said Griffin.