As early as 2019, AutoIndustriya.com reported that Hyundai will build a new factory in Indonesia. When Hyundai signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Indonesian government, they made it official that they plan on setting up a full manufacturing plant in the country.

Fast forward to March 2022, and the Korean automaker has officially inaugurated the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (HMMI). With an initial capacity of 150,000 units per year, Hyundai's first manufacturing plant in Southeast Asia (ASEAN) is ready to produce a wide array of cars and electric vehicles (EVs).

Hyundai to build left-hand drive cars at new Indonesia factory image

Located in Deltamas, Central Cikarang, Bekasi, West Java, the construction of HMMI was officially completed last December 2021 on a 77.7-hectare plot of land with a building area that covers 18.8 hectares. Planned investment for the new factory is at USD 1.55 billion and capacity is set to be increased to 250,000 units in the future.

In December of 2020, we received word from a well-placed source that Hyundai will export Indonesian-made vehicles to the Philippines. This means that apart from building models with the steering wheel on the right for Indonesia, the Hyundai factory will also be manufacturing cars with the steering wheel on the left. And that will be the case.

The new Hyundai manufacturing plant is also geared to become the company's production hub in Southeast Asia. This means HMMI will produce various Hyundai models and spare parts for export to ASEAN markets such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The automaker plans to export around 40% of its vehicles to meet market demand in ASEAN countries.

Hyundai to build left-hand drive cars at new Indonesia factory image

The first model that the factory will produce is the all-new Creta which was just revealed late last year during the 2021 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS). Moreover, the new plant is also set to produce the Santa Fe and a newly-developed MPV designed for local markets. As mentioned earlier, these models will not only be offered locally but to other Southeast Asian countries, as well.

Aside from regular vehicles, HMMI will also be ground zero for Hyundai's production of EVs in Southeast Asia. That's right, Hyundai is preparing to mass-produce battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in Indonesia, starting with the Ioniq 5.

Hyundai to build left-hand drive cars at new Indonesia factory image

The plan to make more EVs is actually part of Hyundai's support in facing an era of electrification. It's also in line with the long-term commitment of the Indonesian government as described in the Net Zero Emission Roadmap, namely accelerating the electric vehicle ecosystem.

“Indonesia is the key hub for Hyundai Motor’s future mobility strategy. This plant will play a key role in the automotive industry and specifically in the field of electric vehicles. Moreover, Hyundai will keep contributing to the establishment of the electric vehicle ecosystem in Indonesia through the synergy on the battery plant that we are currently developing. Which we believe will boost Indonesia to play an important role in the global landscape. We hope that the future new technology from Hyundai will be the foundation of greater collaboration with Indonesia,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Chair of Hyundai Group.

With Hyundai's new factory now operational, we can expect new models to arrive in the Philippines from one of our closest neighbors. More importantly, the ASEAN-Free Trade Agreement will allow for more affordable Indonesian-made Hyundais to be available in the country. Hopefully, we won't have to wait long for these cars to arrive... and probably under a new distributor under Hyundai.