Hyundai will set up a $ 7 billion US plant during the Biden Asia tour

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group will announce next week that it is building a giant electric vehicle plant near Savannah, Georgia, according to a U.S. official familiar with the expected announcement.

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

The White House and Hyundai are discussing the project, which is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to Georgia, and the official announcement will probably be made during Biden’s scheduled visit to Seoul on May 20-21, according to an unofficial official. To comment and to speak on condition of anonymity.

Although the official stressed that the details of the official announcement are still being worked out.

The plant can accommodate 8,500 employees and will be built on a 2,200-acre (890-hectare) site, owned by state and local governments near the town of Elabel, Georgia, said two people familiar with Georgia’s negotiations with Hyundai. The location is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) inland from Savannah. The second said Hyundai would invest more than $ 7 billion and could also build some petrol-powered cars on site, with an announcement set for May 20 in Georgia. People spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidentiality.

It will be the second largest electric vehicle plant announced in Georgia in less than a year. Rivian Automotive announced in December that it would build a বিল 5 billion, 7,500-work electric truck plant about 45 miles (70 kilometers) east of Atlanta.

“Hyundai Motor Group is committed to accelerating electrification in the United States,” said spokeswoman Michelle Tinson. “We will announce the location of our new US EV plant soon.”

Biden is in South Korea and Japan for talks with leaders of the two countries. During the visit, he will meet with leaders of the Indo-Pacific Strategic Alliance with the United States, known as the Quad: Australia, India and Japan.

South Korean President Eun Sook-eol, who took office earlier this week, pledged during his campaign to strengthen US-South Korean relations.

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Georgia Democrat, met with Kia officials Tuesday. “I tell business leaders regularly: Georgia is open to business,” Warnok said, noting the potential of the plant.

Hyundai’s interest in Georgia was first reported by Reuters, when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution initially reported plans to make the announcement. The company sells cars under the Hyundai and Kia brands.

The announcement comes in the last days of Georgia’s May 24 primary election and could be a last-ditch encouragement for Governor Brian Kemp. Republican incumbent former U.S. Sen. David Purdue and GOP are leading the vote in an effort to prevent a rivalry from others in the primary. Purdue has repeatedly attacked the Rivian Accord, where Georgia and local governments have promised $ 1.5 billion in incentives and tax breaks, saying the state is transferring money to liberal financiers and should consult with local residents who oppose the plant because it threatens their rural quality. Of life.

South Korean automaker Montgomery will add a third American assembly plant to its Hyundai plant in Alabama and a Kia plant in West Point, Georgia. It is not clear what models will be assembled at the new Georgia plant. Hyundai has announced plans to invest $ 7.4 billion in electric vehicle production, plant upgrades and technology development in the United States by 2025. The company plans to start building hybrid and electric vehicles by investing $ 300 million in its Montgomery plant this fall.

Kemp has forged a relationship with the Korean automaker, part of a push to find jobs in parts of Georgia outside of Atlanta and to build Georgia’s position in the electric vehicle industry. SK Group, a South Korean conglomerate, is building a 2.6 billion complex to build batteries for electric vehicles in commerce northeast of Atlanta.

“One of the reasons was that I made my first economic development trip to South Korea and visited great companies like Kia and Hyundai and many more. Said Monday.

The agreement will strengthen Georgia’s efforts to capture a large part of the electric vehicle industry. Georgia’s economic development commissioner, Pat Wilson, said in December after landing Georgia’s Rivian that the transformation of the industry was a “seed of opportunity” for Georgia.

“Looking ahead, I see a huge amount of opportunities for us,” Wilson said.

Georgia bought the site last July for $ 61 million, covering more than 2,200 acres (890 hectares), with Brian and Chatham Counties each kicking in for 9 million.

Madhani reports from Washington. Associated Press auto writer Tom Chrisher contributed from Detroit and author Ross Binam from Savannah, Georgia.

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