Hyundai Motor Group to invest $5.54 billion in an electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in Bryan County

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Governor Brian Kemp and Hyundai Motor Group Executive Char Euisun Chung announced today that the Hyundai Motor Group will open its first fully dedicated electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in Georgia.

That facility will be at the megasite in Bryan County. Hyundai Motor Group will be investing $5.54 billion to opening the factory.

Other suppliers will invest around another $1 billion in the project. This will deliver approximately 8,100 new jobs to the area.

Construction on the facility is expected to begin in January 2023 with full production expected in the first half of 2025.

WTOC spoke with Governor Kemp ahead of the announcement. He says this will be a huge economic boost to not only Bryan County but the whole state of Georgia.

“This is going to be the largest economic plan we have ever done in the state’s history. From a state perspective, it’s just incredible even bigger than the Rivian plant, that we announced several months ago. 8,100 jobs, $5.5 billion in initial investment. We know there will be an addition $1billion dollars from Suppliers who are going to bring, hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of other jobs.”

Members from the Richmond Hill Bryan County Chamber of Commerce also said they are excited about the announcement.

The Chamber’s chairwoman says that, not only should the area expect new businesses directly related to the electric vehicle plant at the megasite, but also businesses for the workers who will staff this plant - such as restaurants.

“And then after the direct industry comes, then is when you get additional restaurants and more mom and pop shops and those other small businesses that join in and fill in with the community. So we can expect down the road to see this slow and homogenous growth that comes around a large investment like this,” said Emily Cannon.

County leaders said any economic incentives in place for Hyundai aren’t finalized yet but should be announced sometime in June.

The size and scope of the megasite development actually grew from the announcement of the land purchase last year.

After today’s announcement, the President and CEO of the Savannah Economic Development Authority explained the footprint of the megasite grew by about 700 acres to fit the development need out here.

In addition to that, WTOC learned the just over 8,000 jobs created by this venture, and overall investment, will also grow over time.

“We’re going to, part of the announcement is an extra billion dollars of investment with a bunch of jobs attached to that that are coming as well. So we’re still getting all those details out. But we’ll see a lot of supplier visits over the next several months as they look to also locate here as well,” said Trip Tollison, the President and CEO of SEDA.

WTOC also went to West Point to see how the Kia plant boosted the economy there. Kia’s first plant in Georgia calls the small town of West Georgia “home”.

The mayor said they’ve seen their economy grow, even if it wasn’t in the ways they expected.

Mayor Steve Tramell points with pride at West Point’s bustling downtown.

“Fifteen years ago, this downtown was 90 percent empty. Empty shops every where you could see. Now, it’s 90 percent full.”

He credits the Kia plant with the turn around, even if it’s unconventional.

“..for starters, we’re a town of about 3, night. Every day, our population swells to about 10-12,000.” He says they expected growth from the plant, but they didn’t know what kind of growth. For example, how many towns of 3,600 have restaurants on nearly every block and several hiring agencies in town?”

He says West Point’s economy has grown even without a surge of plant employees living here.

“..we’ve got some shoe stores that have been here 30-40 years. They’re adapting. They started selling, to the plant, steel toed shoes.”

The mayor says plenty of communities up and down the road from the plant have seen growth, even if they didn’t anticipate how they would grow.

“Everything you plan for, you get something else. It might not be what you want it to be. But what comes in, is a good thing......”

Rep. Buddy Carter, who attended the announcement today, released a statement following the ceremony.

“I am thrilled that Hyundai chose Georgia as the home for its latest factory. Not only will this investment bring thousands of jobs to the First District, but it will also boost America’s manufacturing economy, spurring innovation and global economic competitiveness within the region. With this investment, Georgia will be a leader in the electric vehicle industry. The future of transportation is right here in Bryan County.”

Georgia Senator Ossoff also released a statement today. Senator Ossoff led a delegation to South Korea back in November. His office says this agreement was high on the priority list.

“When I led an Economic Delegation to South Korea last fall, attracting Hyundai’s investment in Georgia was a key goal. This multibillion-dollar opportunity for Georgia will create thousands of jobs and grow Georgia’s reputation as a world leader in automotive and clean energy manufacturing.”

You can watch the full announcement below:

Gov. Kemp on Bryan County megasite 5/20/22

#WATCH Governor Brian Kemp is set to announce plans for the megasite in Bryan County.

Posted by WTOC-TV on Friday, May 20, 2022

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