As the fastest growing car brand in Australia, Hyundai is a familiar face on Australian roads. What many motorists won’t be aware of, however, is that the manufacturing path from mine to motorway actually starts in this country.
Hyundai’s automotive manufacturing process begins right here in Australia with the mining of raw materials which are sourced from our own backyard – through a deal which represents a significant commitment to the Australian mining industry and provides a welcome boost to the economy.
Australian iron ore and coking coal are exported directly to South Korea for processing into the steel used in Hyundai’s vehicle manufacturing. Hyundai is the first automotive manufacturer to boast fully integrated global operations, having commenced the production of steel at Hyundai Steel’s own blast furnace earlier this year - a facility which will ultimately use up to 13.6 million tonnes of iron ore and 6.5 million tonnes of coking coal annually once planned expansions are completed. Of the total raw materials imported by Hyundai Steel, 60% (8.2 million tonnes) of the iron ore and 65% (4.2 million tonnes) of the coking coal is expected to come from Australia, making the country Hyundai’s biggest single supplier of raw materials.
Finished steel is then delivered to Hyundai’s manufacturing plants as a critical part of the company’s new vehicle supply line. The Hyundai i45 for example, which is built at the company’s plant in Asan, South Korea, utilises hot stamped steel in its manufacturing. This process results in a composition up to three times stronger than traditional steel, and it is used to reinforce i45’s B-pillars and outer roof-side panels to improve structural rigidity and increase the vehicle’s integrity during frontal offset impacts, rollovers and side pole impacts.
“Hyundai’s trade with Australia is a strong statement of confidence in the country’s export efforts,” said Oliver Mann, Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s Director of Marketing. “Through Hyundai’s integrated manufacturing operations, it also means our vehicles are built using steel of exceptionally high quality.”