Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Singapore officially opens

Lionel Kong

 Hyundai’s research and development facility officially opens in Singapore’s West


Three years after it was first announced and construction began, the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Singapore, or HMGICS (read as H-M-Gics by industry insiders) is now officially open. Situated in Jurong along Bulim Avenue, the centre isn’t just an R&D facility for South Korean automaker Hyundai, but also a bona fide production plant for Hyundai’s electric vehicles.

The facility aims to establish itself as one of two Hyundai Motor Group innovation pillars, alongside the Ulsan EV production plant in South Korea, that will lead the company’s future in the electrification era.

From December 2023, members of the public can have tours through the facility as well, but before you go, here’s a preview of what you can find inside.

HMGICS Smart Farm

Dominating the main lobby of the visitor centre is a towering wall of vegetables being grown hydroponically. Manned by robots, these vegetables are grown to be used in the restaurant within the facility that is set to open next year. Visitors can also reserve a slot to try their hand at programming the robot. 

The system aims to enhance customer awareness by allowing visitors to interact with the farming process, and you can also reserve a slot to try your hand at selecting the seedlings to be planted. 

The Smart Farm produces up to nine different crops within the facility, and harvested produce is given to customers as a memento of their visit, as well as donated to local communities in Singapore. 

The Car Collection Room

Your made-in-Singapore Hyundai Ioniq 5 is ready for delivery and you want to pick it up directly at where it was made? You can now do it here, and see how the car is moved into the delivery bay with the help of robot sleds. This means that delivery mileage on the car is virtually non existent, and a checklist will be shown to help guide you through the features to check on.

The video wall is also programmed to show different backdrops for a family photo before you drive off in your new Hyundai.

The Design and Merchandise Studio

A space where you can choose the colour trims for your Hyundai, and also see the selection of memorabilia to see and order from the online store.

The Production Floor

The largest space in the facility is given over to the production plant, where the Ioniq 5, and soon the Ioniq 6, are assembled. This space doesn’t just assemble cars for Singapore, but also the rest of the world. The fully autonomous Ioniq 5 Robotaxi for example, is assembled here and exported to America.

Rather than the traditional conveyor belt layout, the highly robotised production line is designed around individual cells where the cars being assembled are moved by robot sleds in an efficient manner to where they are next needed. This means that the line doesn’t get held up if one station requires more assembly time than the others, and that custom builds for testing and development can easily slot into position midway.

At full operating capacity the plant is rated to build 30,000 cars a year, assisted by 200 robots. 

Robots also work alongside humans for quality assurance checks, and sentries on wheels patrol the floor to check for items out of place, liquid spills, and any other thing amiss. These are reported directly to the control room where human operators can decide on the next course of action.

Hyundai states that the facility is in a constant state of innovation, and will also serve as a testbed for developing future mobility solutions, including Purpose Built Vehicles, thanks to its advanced, customisable manufacturing capability.

While the production facility is out of bounds to the public for obvious reasons, visitors can get an interactive VR experience in the VR theatre, where the use of 3D VR goggles enhances the virtual ‘hands-on’ experience.

The Skytrack

The roof of HMGICS is dominated by a huge oval track with banked turns. Parts of this road actually overhang the edge of the building below, and part of it runs through the building as well. But no, this isn’t a racing track. 

Its primary purpose is as an in-house systems check for cars that have just been assembled, and over a few laps here the test drivers put the new cars through a complete battery of checks to ensure that everything is working as intended. The testers say that cars typically don’t exceed 80km/h around the circuit, but the corner banking also means that they don’t need to slow down for the turns.

HMGICS has plans in place to nurture local talent in the mobility sector, incubate future businesses in Singapore and foster relationships with research institutions and universities through an open innovation ecosystem here. A number of Memorandums of Understanding were signed including collaborations with Nanyang Technological University and the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

Of interest is that the Hyundai Group will also be working with PTC Logistics to establish a renewable hydrogen energy ecosystem in Singapore. Based on this agreement, HMGICS will serve as an innovation hub to support Singapore in accomplishing its hydrogen initiatives. This includes the National Hydrogen Strategy which aims to achieve 50 percent hydrogen usage in nationwide power supply by 2050.


hmgics hyundai ioniq 5 ioniq 6

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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