Thinking global, sourcing local

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 18 Apr 2008 Views icon3204 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Thinking global, sourcing local
The Hyundai i10, which had its global launch in India in November 2007, has been a huge sales success for the Korean carmaker. In just five months it managed to sell 45,000 units of the i10 in the Indian market. The carmaker's plant at Irungattukottai, near Chennai, is the global production hub for this new hatchback model.

To ensure competitive pricing, Hyundai has extensively localised the i10, with 94 per cent of the parts for this car being sourced locally from a variety of suppliers. While some are purely Indian ventures, the majority are Korean suppliers that Hyundai has brought into India to meet its quality and cost targets. We take a closer look at some of the indigenised parts of the i10.

Front cross-member assembly (Hwashin Automotive)

Hwashin Automotive India is a professionally-managed multinational company manufacturing chassis and body parts for Hyundai. It has plants in USA, China and Korea which supply to Hyundai globally. Its R&D and tool-making centres support Hyundai globally.

In developing this part, special reinforcements are given in between the upper and lower parts of the cross-member to better withstand side forces while turning and lower vibration. These parts are welded using robots to give the cross-member extra strength and ensure accuracy and consistency. The part is also painted using an electrostatic dip that will help it resist rusting for a minimum of 10 years.

ABS brake system (Mando India)

Mando India is a joint venture company between Mando Corporation of Korea and the Anand Group, which was established in September 1997. It has been awarded TS16949, ISO 14001, Q1 and 100 PPM certifications and manufactures brake and suspension systems for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

Besides being a systems supplier to Hyundai Motor India, it also supplies to Ford India and Mahindra-Renault. The Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) unit provides the i10 with improved safety in all conditions. Its compact design includes a parking brake integrated with the rear brake to ensure uniform braking. The front disc brakes themselves are bigger than the Santro in both diameter and effective brake contact area.

Power steering system (Mando India Steering System)

This company was set up in India in November 2006 by Mando Korea. It supplies the MDPS (Motor Driven Power Steering) system for the i10 which modulates steering performance according to vehicle speed. The steering system is continuously responsive to the speed of the vehicle and wheel speed sensors give inputs to the MDPS control unit.

The use of this type of system has helped keep weight down and increased manufacturing efficiency as the installation time is less. Hyundai claims the MDPS gives a three percent improvement in fuel efficiency. It also provides for better control of the vehicle at higher speeds.

Front Airbags (Mobis India)

The advanced airbag system in the i10 ensures optimum performance by detecting the type and intensity of the collision before deploying the airbags. The physique and seating position of passengers as well as whether or not they are wearing safety belts is also considered. It can help reduce the injuries to smaller women drivers as well as babies and children. What's more, it also provides enhanced protection for passengers who have not fastened their seatbelt.

Mobis uses several new processes in the manufacture of these airbags including ‘just in sequence’ with Hyundai Motor, 100 percent functional check-up (electrical check-out system), mistake-proofing using alarms on the assembly line and manufacturing process simulation.

Front energy-absorbing module (Mobis India)

The energy absorber is placed between a rigid beam and the bumper skin at the front end of the i10 to absorb, by compression, the energy of impacts. It comprises a set of ribs each of which extends in parallel to the crumpling direction. The ribs also have a free edge that presses against the beam. On impact, they are arranged so that the free edges remains pressed against the beam, while the ribs themselves buckle. This helps cushion the impact to the occupants.

Front chassis module (Mobis India)

The module includes the wheel sensor that electronically monitors the speed at which a wheel is rotating. It forms part of the anti- lock braking system, and can also supply information for traction control systems if required.

Polyurethane seat foam (Polyflex and Spack)

Polyflex India is a Chennai-based company that supplies the i10 with PU seat foam. It supplies both front and rear back foam with integrated headrests for the Indian market. It also supplies specialised seat foam for the Europe market. These export models also get a warmer for the front cushion and back pad. As for the rear seat cushion, it is bench-type for India and split-type for Europe.

Instrument cluster (Visteon Automotive Systems)

The i10 is the only vehicle in its class to have a fully electronic instrument cluster with stepper motors to drive four gauges accurately. For the first time in India, the cluster sports a halo face lighting illumination using high reliability Light Emitting Diodes (LED) in place of conventional bulbs.

The cluster also sports illumination pointers with silver cap inserts on the hub and specially designed silver rings to give it a distinct appearance. It is produced in over 84 variants including multiple country specifications as well as petrol and diesel options. It is assembled on lines that have a state-of-the-art networking and bar coding system at all stations. Fully automatic machines and vision-based calibrators ensure quality, precision and reliability.

Suspension dampers (Mando India)

The suspension system is all-new and the front strut is now mounted on a more compact ‘I’-shaped sub-frame, the lower arm is considerably more robust and solidly mounted and the dampers, supplied by Mando are gas-filled. The rear suspension has also been improved and the coupled torsion beam axle, similar to the one on the Getz, allows a lighter structure but gives more strength.
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