Bryan County, Georgia is the site for a planned Hyundai manufacturing facility. Last week, Governor Bryan P. Kemp and other Georgia officials met with Hyundai Motor Group officials and announced that land near Savannah was selected. It will become the home of the company’s first dedicated electric vehicle plant and battery manufacturing facility in the United States. Hyundai will invest $5.54 billion and realize a substantial tax break from the state.
The groundbreaking will take place in early 2023 with commercial production commencing during the first half of 2025. Once fully operational, the plant will have a capacity to build 300,000 electric vehicles annually. As for the separate battery manufacturing facility, Hyundai will announce a strategic partnership later to handle production.
EVs for Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia?
Hyundai says that it plans to produce a wide range of electric vehicles for its US customers at the new plant. We do not know yet what types of vehicles will be built there. However, we may see models from all three Hyundai labels, including the eponymous Hyundai brand, the luxury Genesis marque, and Kia. The company has two other facilities in the United States, including a Hyundai manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Alabama, and a Kia manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia.
The proposed plant and investment are part of Hyundai’s 2021 announcement that it would invest $7.4 billion in the United States by 2025. That initiative includes electric vehicles and mobility, the latter best known for producing autonomous vehicles.
“We decided to build our first dedicated EV plant in the U.S. because America embraces change and drives innovation,” said Jaehoon Chang, President, and CEO of Hyundai Motor. “This new EV plant is the future of our business, and it will help us to meet the growing demands of our U.S. customers who want leading-edge design, safe, zero-emission vehicles now and in the future.”
Cutting-Edge Georgia Facility
Although we do not know precisely the products that will roll off the Savannah assembly line, we do know that the plant will be a state-of-the-art facility. For instance, Hyundai says it will be highly connected and automated and feature a flexible manufacturing system. The latter will allow Hyundai to build a variety of vehicle styles, including on the same assembly line. Further, it will naturally connect all facets of the EV ecosystem in its quest to serve customers.
Hyundai already employs many of the techniques it plans in Georgia at its plants in Korea. Under the “intelligent manufacturing plant” umbrella, all processes of production work. For example, artificial intelligence (ai) and data will oversee such processes as order collection, procurement, logistics, and production. It will be a human-focused environment with robots present to assist the workers.
Lastly, Hyundai pledged to advance sustainability. In particular, the facility will chiefly utilize renewable energy sources to power the plant. Also, the company plans to employ emission reduction technologies to meet its goals.
With the new facility, Hyundai intends to become one of the largest producers and sellers of electric vehicles in America. Tesla remains the leader, but Hyundai, along with domestic manufacturers such as GM and Ford, has entered the fray in a big way.
But Hyundai is hardly alone as other facilities are popping up. Most are located in the southeast and include VinFast in North Carolina. Also, Rivian is coming to Georgia, and Ford’s Blue Oval City is in Tennessee and Kentucky. We also know that Volkswagen will need to accommodate space for EVs somewhere, perhaps adjacent to its Tennessee plant in Chattanooga. Nissan, too, may expand its presence in Tennessee, although nothing has been said at this point.
Image credit, the State of Georgia.