Exclusive-Hyundai plans electric vehicle plant in US, in talks with Georgia – Sources | Top news

By Heekyong Yang and Ben Klayman

SEOUL/DETROIT (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Co plans to build a new electric vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States and has held discussions with officials in Georgia, close to existing factories for the Hyundai and Kia brands, officials said. people familiar with his plans. Reuters.

Hyundai Motor confirmed an imminent plan for a new electric vehicle factory, but declined to comment on specifics, including site negotiations.

“We are excited to announce a new plan for an electric vehicle factory in the United States soon, but we have no details to share at this stage,” Hyundai said in a statement to Reuters when asked about its plans. of investment.

Hyundai has had advanced talks with state officials to build a dedicated electric vehicle facility in Georgia, three people with direct knowledge of the talks told Reuters. Details of the investment, including its expected cost and the number of jobs it is expected to create, were not immediately known.

The new Georgia EV facility, if finalized, would serve both Hyundai and Kia as the brands prepare to roll out a pair of all-electric SUVs – the Ioniq 7 and EV9 – for the US market, with the three people aware of the plans. told Reuters.

The Georgia Economic Department declined to comment. “We don’t comment on speculation about economic development projects,” a spokesperson for the state’s economic development department said.

Hyundai’s announcement of an investment deal would come at a time when President Joe Biden’s administration has been pushing for more investment in electric vehicles and related suppliers to create jobs and drive a growth agenda. ‘clean energy. It would also mark a major economic development victory for Georgia, which has pushed to establish itself as a regional hub for the emerging electric vehicle industry.

The announcement could come days before Georgia’s May 24 primary election, in which Republican Governor Brian Kemp is challenged by former US Senator David Perdue.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the company could hire 8,500 people as part of its plan to build a new factory https://www.ajc.com/news/kias-parent-firm-planning- second-georgia-plant/LLYX2V2MSFHE7OZQZKWVX33RPA. The newspaper said the plant could be located on a site of more than 2,200 acres that the state had previously offered to Rivian, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover.

Hyundai had been working to announce its U.S. investment in electric vehicle manufacturing later this month to coincide with Biden’s planned visit to Seoul, another person familiar with the plans said.

Hyundai last month announced a $300 million investment to manufacture the all-electric Genesis GV 70 and a hybrid version of the Santa Fe at its Alabama plant. The Genesis model would be Hyundai’s first electric vehicle made in the United States.

Hyundai’s comment to Reuters was the company’s first confirmation that it was nearing a site announcement for a new electric vehicle factory.

Hyundai subsidiary Kia also said last month that it was considering shifting production to the United States, but was not considering a dedicated electric vehicle plant on its own.

Kia has announced that it will have 14 electric vehicles by 2027. Hyundai has announced that it will launch 17 by 2030, including six for its luxury brand Genesis.

Hyundai’s battery supplier SK On, the battery unit of SK Innovation, has just built two adjacent plants in Georgia. The first, which mainly supplies Volkswagen AG, started production in the first quarter. The second, which will supply batteries to Ford Motor Co, is expected to begin production early next year.

SK On will supply the battery for the Ioniq 7, a person with knowledge of the contract told Reuters. SK On said he could not comment on supply deals involving specific customers.

Biden is due to travel to South Korea on May 20 for meetings with new South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, a supporter of moves to strengthen South Korea’s ties with the United States.

The Biden administration has said it will allocate more than $3 billion in infrastructure funding to fund the manufacturing of electric vehicles. Biden wants half of vehicles sold in the United States to be electric by 2030.

Other Asian companies that have announced plans to build battery factories in the United States include LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI in Korea.

Reuters reported earlier this month that CATL, the world’s largest battery maker, was in talks to open battery plants that would service BMW AG and Ford with potential sites in South Carolina and Kentucky.

A South Korean media report said Yoon, who takes office on Tuesday, was also planning a follow-up visit to Washington after Biden’s visit to Seoul, where he would be accompanied by the heads of major South Korean conglomerates, including Hyundai Motor. and SK, to discuss investments in the United States.

A spokeswoman for Yoon on Monday denied the plan as stated.

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang in Seoul and Ben Klayman in Detroit; additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington Writing by Kevin Krolicki; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Nick Zieminski)

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