Hyundai is finalizing these plans as President Joe Biden plans to travel to South Korea next week as part of his first visit to Asia during his presidency.
The White House and Hyundai have been in talks about the project, which is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to Georgia, and the formal announcement is likely in Biden’s planned visit to Seoul on 20-21. May, according to the official who did not have a permit. to express himself and spoke anonymously.
However, the official emphasized that information on the formal announcement was still being worked on.
The plant could grow to 8,500 workers and be built on a 2,200-acre (890-hectare) site owned by state and local governments near the village of Ellabell, Georgia, said two people familiar with Georgia’s talks with Hyundai. The location is about 25 miles (40 km) inland from Savannah. Another source said Hyundai would invest more than $ 7 billion and could also build several gasoline-powered cars on site, with an announcement in Georgia on May 20.
This would be the second giant electric car factory announced in Georgia in less than a year. Rivian Automotive announced in December that it would build a $ 5 billion, 7,500-car electric car plant about 45 miles (70 km) east of Atlanta.
“Hyundai Motor Group is committed to accelerating electrification in the United States,” said Michelle Tinson, a spokeswoman. “We will announce the location of our new US electric car plant soon.”
Biden is on his way to South Korea and Japan to hold talks with the leaders of the two countries. He will also meet with leaders from the Indo-Pacific Alliance with the United States on a trip called the Quad: Australia, India and Japan.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office earlier this week, pledged in his campaign to strengthen US-South Korea ties.
Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat in the United States, met with Kia officials on Tuesday. “I regularly tell business leaders: Georgia is open for business,” Warnock said, not mentioning the possibility of a factory.
Reuters first reported on Hyundai’s interest in Georgia, but The Atlanta Journal-Constitution originally reported on the plan. The company sells cars under the Hyundai and Kia brands.
The announcement would come in the last days before the primary elections in Georgia on May 24 and could be Brian Kemp’s governor at the last minute. The current Republican is leading the polls in his effort to hold back a challenge from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue and others in the GOP primary. Perdue has repeatedly attacked the agreement in Rivia, where Georgia and local governments have pledged $ 1.5 billion in concessions and tax breaks, saying the state is transferring money to liberal financiers and should have consulted with local residents opposed to the smelter. because it threatens their rural areas. of life.
The South Korean carmaker would add a third US assembly plant to its Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama, and a Kia plant in West Point, Georgia. It is unclear what models will be assembled at the new plant in Georgia. Hyundai announced plans to invest $ 7.4 billion in the United States by 2025 to build electric cars, upgrade factories and develop technology. The company plans to begin construction of hybrid and electric vehicles at the Montgomery plant this fall and invest $ 300 million.
Kemp has cultivated ties with the Korean automaker, as part of an effort to return jobs to parts of Georgia outside of Atlanta and to build Georgia’s position in the electric car industry. The South Korean conglomerate SK Group is building a $ 2.6 billion complex to build batteries for electric cars in Commerce, northeast of Atlanta.
“There was a reason why I went on my first economic development trip to South Korea and visited great companies like Kia and Hyundai and lots of others. We have had a great partnership with them and many other South Korean companies and we have for a long time time, “Kemp said on Monday.
The agreement would strengthen Georgia’s efforts to capture a large part of the electric car industry. Georgia’s chief of economic development, Pat Wilson, said in December after Georgia landed Rivian that the industrial transition was a “seed opportunity” for Georgia.
“Looking ahead, I just see a huge opportunity for us,” said Wilson.
Georgia bought the site, which contains more than 2,200 acres (890 acres) for $ 61 million last July, with Bryan and Chatham counties each shooting $ 9 million.
Madhani reported from Washington. Associated Press car writer Tom Krisher contributed from Detroit and writer Russ Bynum contributed from Savannah, Georgia.
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