Sources: Hyundai announces new $7 billion plant in Savannah

Written by Jeff Amy and Amer Madani, The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Next week, South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group is expected to announce that it is building a massive electric vehicle plant near Savannah, Georgia, according to a US official familiar with the expected announcement.

Hyundai is finalizing those plans as President Joe Biden is scheduled to travel to South Korea next week as part of his first visit to Asia during his presidency.

The White House and Hyundai have held discussions about the project, which is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to Georgia, and the official announcement will likely be during Biden’s May 20-21 visit to Seoul, according to the unauthorized official. To comment and speak on condition of anonymity.

The official confirmed although details of the official announcement are still being worked out.

Two people familiar with Georgia’s talks with Hyundai said the plant could grow to 8,500 employees and be built on a 2,200-acre (890 ha) site owned by state and local governments near the village of Illabel, Georgia. The site is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) inland from Savannah. The second person said Hyundai will invest more than $7 billion and could also build some gasoline-powered cars on site, with an announcement in Georgia on May 20. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential conversations.

This will be the second massive electric vehicle plant to be announced in Georgia in less than a year. Rivian Automotive announced in December that it would build a $5 billion electric truck plant and 7,500 jobs 45 miles east of Atlanta.

“Hyundai Motor Group is committed to accelerating electrification of the United States,” said company spokeswoman Michelle Tenson. “We will be announcing the location of our new US electric vehicle plant soon.”

The announcement will come in the final days before Georgia’s May 24 primary and could be a last-minute boost for Governor Brian Kemp. The Republican incumbent is leading in the polls in his efforts to fend off the challenge of former US Senator David Perdue and others in the Republican primary. Perdue repeatedly attacked the Rivian deal, in which Georgia and local governments pledged $1.5 billion in stimulus and tax breaks, saying the state was funneling money to liberal financiers and should have consulted locals who oppose the plant because it threatens their rural quality. from life.

The South Korean automaker will add a third US assembly plant to Hyundai’s plant in Montgomery, Alabama, and Kia’s plant in West Point, Georgia. It is unclear what models will be assembled at the new Georgia plant. Hyundai has announced plans to invest $7.4 billion in the United States by 2025 to produce electric cars, modernize factories and develop technology. The company plans to start building hybrid and electric cars at its Montgomery plant by the fall, with an investment of $300 million.

Kemp has built relationships with the Korean automaker, as part of a campaign to create jobs for parts of Georgia outside of Atlanta and build Georgia’s niche in the electric car industry. South Korea’s SK Group is building a $2.6 billion complex to make batteries for electric cars in Commerce, northeast of Atlanta.

The deal will boost Georgia’s efforts to acquire a significant portion of the electric vehicle industry. Pat Wilson, Georgia’s economic development commissioner, said in December after Georgia landed Rivian that industrial transformation is a “seed field of opportunity” for Georgia.

“Looking to the future, I see a huge amount of opportunity for us,” Wilson said,

Georgia purchased the site, which includes more than 2,200 acres (890) hectares, for $61 million last July, and each of Bryan and Chatham counties was valued at $9 million.


Madani reported from Washington. Associated Press auto writer Tom Krecher contributed from Detroit and writer Ross Bynum contributed from Savannah, Georgia.

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