As the bright morning light shined down on the Hyundai logo outside its factory in Chennai, a question beckoned. How does one strive for perfection? They say behind every great meal, there is a great cook. But what we often forget is that every great cook has a certain way of preparation as well. We’d like to imagine that about cars too. Behind every great car, there is a great company and an even greater process of manufacturing. But what if you already had a great product, then, how do you outdo yourself? Simple. You push even harder. That’s what we come to expect from Hyundai’s all-new Creta. Given the success that came with the previous generation Creta, Hyundai had quite the task at hand. However, Hyundai’s commitment to the Indian market and their constant search for a better product, for the people, has always been an unwavering one. So to tell you more about the all-new Creta, we decided to find out how one of the most loved cars in the country is bought to life.
Hyundai has been around in India for over 22 years. And in all these years, the brand has made a concentrated effort to produce their cars in the country. Right from the Santro, the bar was set high for all the models to follow. First, let’s talk about the factory itself. Hyundai’s plant in Chennai has 13 different shops for manufacturing 11 different products. Our journey began at the press and body shop. The press shop, which was commissioned back in April 1998, produces 17 specific parts for the all-new Creta, which are meticulously made and then stored to be moved onto the body shop. As the name suggests, the body shop is where the Creta’s basic skeletal structure is made. In effect, Hyundai’s newest SUV is born in this part of Hyundai’s plant. The Star Wars-like sounds of the machines working away at the body of the all-new Creta are a sight and sound to behold. Especially because of the eagerness to see the final product. However, one of the interesting things we noticed were the bits of the skeleton which were blue in colour. Experts at Hyundai then informed us that the blue-coloured portions of the Creta’s skeleton are Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). These parts are specifically put in high-stress areas of the shell to improve the overall safety of the all-new Creta. The brand’s committed approach to safer cars in India is a commendable one for sure.
It was then time to get to the heart of the matter. The Hyundai plant has three engine shops, two transmission shops and two assembly shops. We visited one of the engine shops to understand just how Hyundai builds its engine from the ground up. In particular, we followed the birth of the 1.5-litre BS6-compliant diesel engine, which is one of the engines on offer in the all-new Creta. Although most of the processes are mechanised, some parts of the engine shop have Hyundai staff ensuring the engine is put together with the utmost care. Before the perfect engine finds the perfect car, Hyundai conducts a cold engine testing at 1500 rpm, without fuel for 42 seconds. This allows the machine sensors to detect faults and test the timing and vibrations. It is a truly rewarding process to watch this part of the process since this forms the basis of the feel each customer will get from their specific Creta.
We then moved onto the assembly line, which is where the all-new Creta finally begins to take shape. In this process, the main components are bolted onto the car. Individuals trained by Hyundai over the years work effortlessly in putting together the dashboard, suspension, tyres, lights and all the things we usually take for granted in a car. One of the key highlights of the assembly area is the process of creating the Bottom loading panoramic sunroof. It’s a treat to watch the highly sophisticated machines put together a piece of the Creta, which is sure to bring a smile to many happy customers. One of the words that spring to mind, time and again, is quality. Every member of the Hyundai factory takes that extra effort in ensuring that every product is put together with the utmost care and precision.
After putting together the latest generation Creta, Hyundai takes the SUV through a series of checks before it can be sent onto the next stage of the production process. All Hyundai cars which are part of the production go through a rolling road. The Creta goes through a long list of checkpoints before it can go out for road test. But first, a bath is in order! After the thorough bath and road test, every Hyundai car goes through the pre-delivery inspection (PDI). PDI is essentially a check which has the all-new Creta pass through eight stations to check if all components are in working order and up to the standards set by Hyundai at a global level. Folks at Hyundai tell us that it takes 800 seconds for a car to pass the 150 checkpoints before its ready to be marked ready for delivery.
After spending the day looking at how its made, it was time finally to feast our eyes upon the final dish. The all-new Creta, in all its glory, is an ode to the craftsmanship and dedication of the thousands of individuals that believe that India deserves more. India deserves a car that captures the time and space of our growth of a nation. With the all-new Creta, Hyundai sets out to build on greatness with quality, safety and creativity. It does so with a dedicated team of individuals committed to ensuring the highest levels detail. In conclusion, it must be said that it was a joy watching the all-new Creta come to life!