First announced back in 2020, Hyundai has finally kickstarted its electric vehicle assembly programme in Singapore. The completely knocked down (CKD) version of the Ioniq 5 will make its debut at the Singapore Motorshow 2023, which will run from tomorrow until January 15.
The electric SUV will be built at the brand new Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre (HMGICS), located at the Jurong Innovation District (JID) on the east of the island. To mark the occasion, Hyundai is offering 100 units of a First 100 special edition, replete with Merlion badges and “First 100” embroidered on the headrests. All will be painted Gravity Matte Gold and come with Dark Pebble Grey interiors.
The cars will also be offered with special number plates ranging from EVS 1L to EVS 100J, the first three letters standing for EVs made in Singapore. These will be auctioned as part of Singapore’s annual President’s Challenge charity campaign, meant to “rally Singaporeans to build a caring and cohesive society together.”
According to The Straits Times, biddings will start at SGD1,000 (around RM3,287), with minimum increments of SGD100 (around RM33). The company hopes to raise around SGD400,000 (RM1.3 million).
That, of course, does not include the price of the car. The first 100 units will be all-wheel-drive models—like the kind currently sold in Malaysia—that will retail at SGD147,800 (around RM485,650), said Hyundai’s head of sales innovation group Andy Kang. This does not include the mandatory Certificate of Entitlement (COE).
These will be followed by a rear-wheel-drive variant priced at under SGD100,000 (around RM328,586) and an entry level model that will slot under the SGD80,000 (around RM262,849) limit for Category A COE.
Kang added that the HMGICS plant will initially import painted body shells from Indonesia—where the Ioniq 5 has been built since last year—and other parts from South Korea. Hyundai wants to source components from Singaporean parts suppliers once production ramps up, he said.
The company is targeting annual production of 30,000 units by 2025, with the factory employing no more than 30 people once the highly automated facility gets up and running. Aside from the Ioniq 5, the HMGICS plant will also build the Ioniq 6 sedan and the next-generation Kona Electric. Carmakers have rarely assembled cars in Singapore—the Hyundai factory is its first assembly plant in more than 40 years. The country used to build cars for the Malay Peninsula, most notably Ford vehicles.
Singapore is late in getting the Ioniq 5 in significant quantities, which are arriving some ten months after its Malaysian launch. The car actually debuted in fully-imported form back in 2021, but only 50 units were offered as part of a pilot programme, where buyers signed up to subscribe to the car for a period of five years.
These customers would get reduced price of SGD138,888 (around RM456,644) for the rear-wheel-drive model and SGD168,888 (around RM555,280) with all-wheel drive, both with the COE included. In return, they would have to share user data with Hyundai, distributor Komoco Motors and Singapore’s electricity grid operator SP Group.
As yet, it’s unclear whether Malaysian distributor Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) will import electric cars from Singapore once the import tax and excise duty exemptions for completely built up (CBU) EVs dry up at the end of 2024. Bringing vehicles in from Indonesia will afford the company reduced taxes as part of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), which should keep prices low. However, it’s more likely it will import EVs from the Indonesian plant in Cikarang, West Java.