July 13, 2024
Hyundai, Kia plants could bring more EVs to U.S. ahead of Metaplant opening

The two existing Hyundai and Kia U.S. factories could play a key role in Hyundai Motor Group’s strategy to localize electric vehicle production ahead of the 2025 opening of its massive $5.5 billion Metaplant in Georgia.

Six new models for Hyundai, Genesis and sibling Kia will come from the EV and battery complex under construction outside Savannah.

Jose Muñoz, CEO of Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America, told Automotive News at the New York auto show this month that all of the EVs Hyundai and Genesis will sell by 2030, which are expected to account for half of its sales, will be built in the U.S.

The Metaplant will have the capacity to build up to 500,000 EVs depending on demand, but its opening is still two years away. In the meantime, Hyundai Motor Group is mobilizing the plants it already operates in the U.S.

Last spring, Hyundai’s plant in Montgomery, Ala., underwent a $300 million upgrade that lasted five months to add a battery installation space adjacent to the building that now assembles the Genesis Electrified GV70 compact crossover, which began full production in February. Part of the investment went to prepare the assembly line for the hybrid version of the Santa Fe midsize crossover.

Kia America, which operates as a separate company despite sharing the same parent, similarly announced that it will bring production of its EV9 electric three-row crossover to its plant in West Point, Ga.

A spokesperson for Kia confirmed it will invest $321 million to upgrade the facility and add testing equipment, resulting in an additional 250 jobs. The EV9 will be the fifth model built at the site and is expected start production in 2024.

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