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Hyundai Motor to invest $5.5 billion for EV and batteries plant in Georgia

Image Courtesy: Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group has announced that it will spend $5.5 billion on a huge electric vehicle plant near Savannah that will employ thousands a deal Georgia's governor called the largest economic development project in the state's history.

Hyundai Motor Group CEO Jaehoon Chang announced with Governor Brian Kemp at the site of the future factory in Bryan County, where state and local officials purchased a flat, sprawling tract for $61 million last year in hopes of luring a major manufacturer.

"Hard-working Georgians are going to have the opportunity to have a high-paying, advanced manufacturing job with a great company," Governor Brian Kemp said in an interview.

Hyundai said it will employ at least 8,100 workers at the plant "near the unincorporated town of Ellabell, where it will assemble electric vehicles as well as vehicle batteries. The company and state officials said they expect suppliers to invest an additional $1 billion.

It's going to "continue to bring wealth and opportunity to the region," said Kemp, who predicted a ripple effect that will boost businesses from Savannah's already booming seaport to restaurants and convenience stores.

The announcement came as President Joe Biden is visiting South Korea. He was scheduled to meet with Hyundai's CEO in Seoul on Sunday. Jake Sullivan, the president's national security adviser, told reporters Biden "will have the opportunity to say thank you for this significant investment that will occur in the United States."

The timing was fortunate for Kemp, who is being challenged by former US Senator David Perdue in a Republican primary election that will be decided Tuesday.

It's the second huge electric vehicle plant announced in Georgia in less than a year. Rivian Automotive announced in December plans for a $5 billion electric truck plant east of Atlanta that's expected to employ about 7,500 workers.

Kemp declined to discuss details of what incentives and tax break the company was offered for locating in Georgia. Rivian received and package worth $1.5 billion.

Hyundai said plans to move quickly with construction and hopes to begin producing vehicles in 2025.

The company will build the plant on 2,200 acres (890 hectares) that the state and partner local governments bought a year ago about 40 kilometers inland from Savannah. Bryan County and neighboring Chatham County, which includes Savannah, each chipped in USD 9 million toward the USD 61 million purchase price.

The land sits adjacent to Interstate 16 which links Savannah and Macon, not far from its intersection with Interstate 95 which spans the Eastern Seaboard. It's also near the Port of Savannah, the fourth-busiest US seaport. 

Author : Debi Dash
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