Hyundai CE makes major investment in South Korean plant

Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) is investing US$170 million in its Ulsan manufacturing plant in South Korea, strengthening the company’s competitiveness in the rapidly expanding construction equipment business. The investment, to be delivered over the next four years, aims to increase production at the plant by 4,800 units a year, bringing annual capacity to 15,000 excavators, wheeled loaders and other construction models.

The production and assembly functions currently in Factory 1 and Factory 2 will be merged into a single facility, simplifying the flow of processes and increasing savings by maximising efficiency, said HCE. This will reduce the working hours involved in machine production and cut logistics costs throughout the supply chain. The move will also reflect the company’s environmental, social and governance factors, using eco-friendly sub-materials when conducting interior and exterior finish work.

HCE is increasing its market share in every region of the business, by responding to current market trends in the global construction equipment market and by looking ahead to the customer requirements of tomorrow’s infrastructure and construction projects. The company also intends to benefit from the recent US launch of the ‘Build Back Better World (B3W)’ initiative for developing countries.

In 2020, HCE announced that it plans to bring to market a range of excavators powered by hydrogen fuel cells, produced in cooperation with Hyundai Motors, which has its largest automotive plant in Ulsan. The company has already unveiled a range of hydrogen-powered industrial forklifts that are due to launch in 2023, as it continues to develop the low and zero-carbon emissions equipment that will be demanded by the customer of the future.

“Strengthening the competitiveness of the Ulsan factory is the first challenge that needs to be addressed to reach the global top five, the goal of the construction equipment division of the Hyundai Heavy Industries group,” said HCE CEO Choi Cheol-gon. “With this investment, we will further raise our brand competitiveness by producing and delivering construction equipment with increased efficiency.”

In November 2020, HCE completed the construction of a technology innovation centre, investing US$65 million. The new centre includes 16 laboratories, employing more than 100 researchers. It is involved in research and development projects focussed on eco-friendly technologies, high efficiency and noise reduction technologies and a virtual verification system. The site also performs quality research and verification of components and completed equipment.

In June 2021, HCE completed a quality assurance centre for verifying the reliability of components and remodelled its global training centre for developing excellent human resources. Now the focus is on increasing production efficiency and building the infrastructure for the rapid growth that is planned for the coming years.