Why local assembly?
Well from what I gathered the H100 Bakkies are built in Korea then knocked-down, the respective parts shipped in and locally assembled. Hyundai said that this arrangement works out slightly more affordable in terms of freight costs for the company to bring the unassembled vehicles in while simultaneously creating local jobs.
The site employs 51 people and Hyundai tell us that the indirect effect at an average ratio of 7 to 1 that the employment of a single worker has on those that he or she supports means that the plant supports, in effect 370 people.
Establishing a new assembly plant isn’t cheap as the H100 production line forms part of a capital investment of about R110 million in the Commercial Vehicles Division of Hyundai in South Africa.
I think that the H100 and its Kia sibling have become familiar sights on local roads as small business owners throughout the country favour its 1.3 ton load capacity and simple mechanicals that have ensured reliability. Hyundai has sold nearly 60 000 of these bakkies since the year 2000 and yes that means this vehicle has been around for 15 years already.
The H100 has simplistic mechanicals such as a steel section ladder-frame chassis with a double wishbone and torsion bar front suspension, leaf springs at the rear, a 58kW/167Nm 2.6 litre naturally aspirated diesel engine, a five-speed gearbox, rear-wheel drive, lower deck height of 775 mm, latching side walls and a bolting tailgate which are all essential.
Quality assurance and assembly time
Hyundai has brought in a full-time quality control engineer from Korea does duty at the assembly plant while five engineers from the company recently came to South Africa to oversee quality control procedures and to train and upskill the local workforce at the factory.
At the moment the factor is busy with its second batch of 60 H100 units with the aim of rolling out 360 Bakkies per month when full production is reached at about September this year. It is important to note that these locally made H100 units are for inland sales as the coastal cities will still receive H100’s built and shipped from Korea.