Hyundai Motor Group is pushing the accelerator pedal when it comes to its newest North American factory. The company broke ground on the multibillion-dollar site in Bryan County, Georgia, last October with the aim of beginning production of electric vehicles in 2025. But on Tuesday, Hyundai president and CEO Jose Munoz revealed that timeline has been brought forward.
“We try to accelerate as much as possible, the project. And we are confident that the original date of January 2025 would be probably pulled ahead maybe three months or so. If we can, even more,” Munoz said.
The main motivation for building EVs locally in the US is the new clean vehicle tax incentives. Created as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, these came into effect at the beginning of this year and address criticisms of the previous EV tax credit by adding income and price caps, allowing dealers to claim the credit if they immediately apply it to the price of the car and creating a tax credit for buying a used EV.
But for a new EV to qualify for the credit, it must undergo final assembly in North America, with an increasing amount of domestic content in the battery pack. So far, HMG builds a single EV in North America, the Genesis GV70 in Alabama, but since its battery components come from South Korea, it is ineligible.
Hyundai is spending $12.6 billion to set up manufacturing in Georgia. The HMG Metaplant America will build EVs like the Ioniq 6 at a cost of $7.6 billion—Hyundai says it will create more than 8,500 jobs in Bryan County in the process. Another $5 billion is being invested in a joint-venture battery factory with SK On in Bartow County on the far side of the state. Hyundai has previously said it plans to be able to build 500,000 cars per year at the Metaplant.
Hyundai’s Korean cousin Kia will also begin building EVs in the US next year, with the EV9 three-row SUV being assembled at a factory in West Point, Georgia. (It’s likely that the Hyundai three-row EV, the Ioniq 7, will also go into production there.) Additionally, Hyundai and Kia plan to build two as-yet-unnamed EVs in Nueva Leon, Mexico.