Seoul, South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Group will invest $5.54 billion to open its first dedicated full electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing plant in the United States. It will be located in Bryan County, Ga., and served by Genesee & Wyoming’s Georgia Central Railway (GC).
Hyundai Motor Company President and CEO Jaehoon (Jay) Chang and Hyundai Motor Company Global COO José Muñoz on May 20 announced the new plant with Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp, executives from Hyundai Motor Group (parent company of Hyundai Motor Company), and state and local economic development leaders at the 2,923-acre Bryan County Megasite, which was purchased jointly by the state and the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor JDA less than a year ago.
Construction at the megasite is expected to begin in January 2023, with full plant production slated for first-half 2025. Annual capacity is estimated at 300,000 vehicles.
GC on May 23 said it would haul inbound materials to support production at the plant as well as outbound finished vehicles. (Details of production models “will be shared at later dates,” according to Hyundai Motor Group.) The 211-mile short line interchanges with CSX at Savannah; Heart of Georgia Railroad at Vidalia, Ga.; Norfolk Southern at Macon, Ga. (see map, left).
The plant site is also adjacent to Interstate 16 with immediate access from I-95 and I-16 to 250 major metropolitan areas, and 28 miles from the Port of Savannah. It is expected to bring 8,100 jobs to the Savannah area.
Georgia is home to an existing network of Hyundai subsidiaries and suppliers, according to the Governor’s office.
“As one of the world’s most successful and advanced mobility leaders, we are incredibly proud to share our plan to open our first dedicated full EV and battery manufacturing facilities in the U.S.,” said Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung. “The U.S. has always held an important place in the Group’s global strategy, and we are excited to partner with the state of Georgia to achieve our shared goal of electrified mobility and sustainability in the U.S.” (Chung also discussed the company’s plan with President Joe Biden on May 22 during Biden’s visit to Seoul.)
“This project is testament to longstanding teamwork among G&W, the state of Georgia, local economic development commissions and Class I rail partners to meet customers’ needs and bring new business to the area,” said G&W North America President Michael Miller, who was selected by Railway Age readers as one of 10 Influential Leaders in 2022. “We look forward to partnering with Hyundai to help them establish a stable supply chain and build a healthy EV ecosystem in the U.S.”
“Hyundai Motor Group’s new location, less than 30 miles from Garden City Terminal and directly adjacent to I-16, provides stellar access to global and domestic markets for both assembly components and finished vehicle marketing,” Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said.
“We are proud to welcome Hyundai Motor Group to Georgia as we forge an innovative future together,” Gov. Kemp said. “From initial conversations on my economic development mission to Korea to Georgia’s investment in the Bryan County Megasite, we’ve been preparing for an opportunity like this for a long time.”
In related developments, CSX in December 2021 reported that Rivian had selected the East Atlanta Megasite to develop a $5 billion manufacturing complex. Located adjacent to the CSX Georgia Road main line between Atlanta and Augusta, Ga., the site will be home to Rivian’s second major assembly plant.