What Nurlan Smagulov and the President of Hyundai Motor Company agreed on

Head of Astana Motors Nurlan Smagulov and President of Hyundai Motor Company Jaehoon Chang
On Monday, February 19, a delegation of leaders of the Korean automobile industry, headed by the President and Global CEO of Hyundai Motor Company, Mr. Jaehoon Chang, arrived in Kazakhstan. It is the first time the head of Hyundai Motor Company visits Kazakhstan.
The delegation included the head of global market operations, Lee Yongho, the head of the business unit in China, Oh Ikkyun, the head for the CIS and Central Asia, Lee Wook, and other representatives of Hyundai Motor Company in global markets.

President of Hyundai Motor Company Jaehoon Chang and CEO of Astana Motors Beknur Nesipbaev.

The delegation came to visit Hyundai Trans Kazakhstan (Astana Motors) plant in Almaty and have an in-depth discussion of the prospects for its development with the founder of Astana Motors, Nurlan Smagulov. The discussion focused on the expansion of the plant and gradual transition to 100% CKD production including body welding and painting, as well as the production of auto components.

“The Hyundai brand achieved outstanding results in Kazakhstan in 2023, ranking first in production (48,857 units) and sales (46,725 units) of passenger cars in Kazakhstan. Hyundai gained a 24% share of Kazakhstan’s automobile market. Therefore, Hyundai Motor Company, and Jaehoon Chang personally, pays special attention to the Kazakh market and the development of the automobile industry in our country. We discussed relevant steps towards deeper localization and visited workshops under construction, which will produce auto components, such as seats, plastic parts, multimedia systems,” said Nurlan Smagulov.

President of Hyundai Motor Company Jaehoon Chang shown how seats for Hyundai are made in Almaty

For his part, the President of Hyundai Motor Company approved the steps being taken to develop the automotive industry and ordered his company to provide comprehensive support to Astana Motors so that Hyundai Trans Kazakhstan plant could shortly transition to highly-localized Kazakh content.

“We praise the actions taken by Kazakhstan and Astana Motors to develop the automobile industry and the Hyundai brand in Kazakhstan. We are going to send Hyundai Motor Company’s engineering team to Kazakhstan very soon to assist in efforts for expanded and deeper production at the plant in Almaty,” said Jaehoo Chang.

Fundamentally, Hyundai Motor Company is ready to share its experience and provide technology to the Kazakh plant.

Hyundai Motor Company delegation at Hyundai Trans Kazakhstan in Almaty.

Notably, the Hyundai Trans Kazakhstan passenger car plant has been operating since 2020. In 2023, it produced 48,857 vehicles. The plant is gradually deepening localization and increasing local content.

The plant has a total area of 38,000 sq. m. Currently, production facilities are being expanded and preparations are being made to upgrade production workshops in order to increase CKD production capacity and launch new models made with body welding and painting.

In 2024, 25% of the total production volume will be produced using the CDK method with welding and painting, in 2025 – 50%, and in 2027 the plant will have 100% CKD production.

Hyundai Trans Kazakhstan produces ten Hyundai models, including the i20, the i30, the Accent, the Elantra, the Sonata, the Bayon, the Tucson, the Santa Fe, the Palisade, and the Staria. In 2023, the plant started to produce the updated Elantra and Sonata models with a new facelifted body.

Hyundai Trans Kazakhstan builds a pool of mechanical engineering personnel. Today the plant employs 1,289 people (+82 employees in a year).

During the visit, the Hyundai Motor Company delegation invited young engineers, foremen and plant workers to visit the plant in Ulsan (Republic of Korea) for training and exchange of experience.

Since 2023, Hyundai Trans Kazakhstan has been cooperating with Kazakhstan’s leading technical university, Satbayev University. The cooperation roadmap includes the development of theoretical and practical educational programs, the introduction of a mentoring and dual training system, the creation of a branch of the mechanical engineering department on the basis of Astana Motors and an R&D center for the implementation of joint research and development, laboratories, and training of MBA- and DBA-level technical and management personnel.

Hyundai Motor Company praised the cooperation with the university and, together with Astana Motors, will provide educational materials, cutaway models, component and assembly models for training students and personnel for the automotive industry.

A cluster of plants (technopark) for the production of auto components is under construction near the automobile plant.

Investments in the construction of the technopark in Almaty will total about 12.4 bln tenge. The cluster is scheduled to be launched in late 2024. More than 400 specialists are expected to work at the three plants for the production of automotive components.

The visit of the President of Hyundai Motor Company highlights that Kazakhstan is becoming a strong player in the global automotive industry. He gave relevant instructions to top managers of the companies to deepen localization and increase local content.

Source: https://forbes.kz/