Hyundai Motor Group and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced Friday that the South Korean automaker will open its first fully dedicated electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant in southeast Georgia’s Bryan County.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Hyundai Motor Group president and CEO JaeHoon Chang met at a signing ceremony in Bryan County on Friday, May 20, 2022. (Credit: Benjamin Payne | GPB)

“After today, no one can doubt that Georgia is not only leading the great recovery as a whole, but we’re also the unrivaled leader in the nation’s emerging electric mobility industry,” Kemp said at a ceremony at the future site of the facility, located close to Interstate 16 about 20 miles northwest of Savannah.

Touting it as the largest economic development project in the state’s history, Kemp said that it will create roughly 8,100 jobs. Hyundai expects to begin construction in January 2023, and once at full production in 2025, they plan to build up to 300,000 vehicles every year. The company will invest roughly $5.5 billion in the factory, with another $1 billion from suppliers.

Its announcement comes just months after California-based electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian Automotive announced plans to build a $5 billion plant east of Atlanta.

“The [Hyundai Motor] Group is committed to electrification and to providing the [fastest] and the most desirable EVs in the world,” said Hyundai president and CEO JaeHoon Chang, who added that the company’s 2021 sales in the U.S. rose 20% over the previous year despite chip shortages and supply chain disruptions. In addition to Hyundai, the company owns the Kia and Genesis brands and has an existing plant in West Point near Columbus where it builds Kia brand automobiles.

“The automotive industry will see more change in the next ten years than in the prior 100,” Kemp said. “That’s something to think about. And, thanks to Hyundai Motor Group, the local and state economic developers, and the partners here today, that future will be made right here.”

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said that the city is contributing utility services to the project, including water and sewer.

“Although it’s not in Savannah, we recognize it affects Savannah,” Johnson told GPB News after the ceremony. “Savannahians will work here, and I’m excited about that, what that means for our community.”

This story comes to Reporter Newspapers through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.

Benjamin Payne | GPB

Benjamin Payne is the Savannah-based reporter for GPB, where he covers Coastal Georgia.