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Hyundai electric vehicle factory to be built in Georgia

J. Scott Trubey and Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Business News

The projects have come with head-turning incentive packages. Hyundai is likely to receive tax breaks and other incentives rivaling the $1.5 billion package of grants, tax breaks, free land, worker training and infrastructure offered to Rivian. SK commanded a $300 million incentive package.

Hyundai Motor subsidiary Kia announced its first U.S. plant in West Point in 2006, and the Georgia factory now employs more than 2,700.

States covet auto factories because they bring billions in investment, thousands of middle-class jobs, and the likelihood of spinoff jobs from a network of suppliers. Kia already has a web of suppliers in Georgia that support its West Point factory, where it builds gas-powered Sorento and Telluride SUVs and K5 sedans.

Hyundai officials said they picked Georgia for its EV hub because of its business climate, workforce and the company’s existing supplier network.

“The future of transportation is in the Peach State as we announce the largest project in our state’s history — delivering high-quality jobs on the leading edge of mobility to hardworking Georgians,” Kemp said in the news release.

Pat Wilson, the state’s economic development commissioner, said in an interview the state has already launched its supplier recruitment effort. Hyundai committed to $1 billion in investments from its supplier network, which could lead to thousands of additional jobs, Wilson said.

 

Kia officials have given every indication that the West Point plant will remain a critical part of its U.S. operations, and the new factory will help Georgia’s supplier network transition to the EV future, Wilson said.

“This solidifies jobs all across the state,” he said. “This is transformational, it’s generational and it’s something the city of Savannah and surrounding counties are going to benefit for the next 50, 60 years.”

The announcement comes just days before Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor. Kemp leads his main rival, former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, in polling by double digits.

Friday’s announcement also comes as President Joe Biden begins a major Asian diplomatic mission to South Korea and Japan. Biden is expected to visit with Hyundai leadership before departing South Korea on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters late Thursday aboard Air Force One, according to White House pool reports.

Sullivan said Biden will express his gratitude to the company for its significant investment in the United States. Biden’s visits to South Korea and Japan are intended to deepen economic and security ties, and the Hyundai announcement coincides with Biden’s agenda to expand battery-powered vehicles and EV manufacturing in the U.S.

©2022 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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