‘Gamechanger’ Hyundai plant on track for early 2025 opening

The massive Hyundai project slated for Bryan County remains on track, Hyundai Motor America's CEO said Wednesday morning.

Randy Parker told the crowd assembled at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center for the annual Savannah Economic Development Authority meeting that the automaker’s goal of producing its first electric vehicles at the metaplant is well within reach.

“We are progressing at a faster pace than comparable projects, and we are well on our way to meeting our goal of starting production in the first half of 2025,” he said.  “The introduction of Hyundai Motor Group’s metaplant in Bryan County is a gamechanger for Hyundai and Savannah. This collaboration is good news economically, as well as environmentally.“

The Hyundai announcement – which includes a $5.54 billion investment and a workforce of 8,100 at full capacity – is the largest economic development project in the state’s history.

“We found the perfect partner to develop the Bryan County megasite when Hyundai selected our region,” said Trip Tollison, president of SEDA. “The regional and generational change from the announcement will transform our area as we know it today.”

The first phase of production is targeted for early 2025, and the company projects producing 300,000 units during the first phase, with the ability to increase to 500,000 units per year in phase two, based on market demands, Parker said.

“We plan to manufacture a wide range of innovative EV models at this new facility for the Hyundai, Genesis and Kia brands,” Parker said. “These facilities in Georgia will become an important part of the state’s supply chain for EV batteries and other EV components in the U.S. market.”

To meet this goal, Parker said the company will put into place many advanced and intelligent manufacturing technologies currently being tested at the company’s innovation hub in Singapore.

“As a result, the plant we will build here will boast a highly connected, automated and flexible manufacturing system,” he said. “We will introduce intelligent manufacturing that supports a collaboration between robots and human workers, creating a human-friendly work environment. Safety and efficiency will be our highest priorities.”

The site’s location, along I-16 and not far from I-95, and its proximity to the port of Savannah enables the company to have access to more than 250 major metropolitan markets.

“Putting this EV and battery manufacturing plant (in Bryan County) makes good sense for so many reasons,” Parker said.

State and local officials announced in May that the automaker had chosen the Bryan County megasite for its electric vehicle manufacturing and a battery-producing plant.

Since then, the company has cleared more than 1,800 of the more than 2,900 acres of the site and moved more than 2.8 million cubic yards of earth, Parker said.

Parker also pointed out several parts suppliers have announced plans for their own new facilities to support the metaplant. In November, state officials announced Hyundai Mobis’ plans to build an EV power electric system plant in Bryan County, for another more than $900 million and the creation of another 1,500 jobs.

Joon Georgia was the first supplier to announce will build a plant in support of Hyundai’s enormous facility, creating 630 jobs and bringing an investment of more than $310 million to a location in Bulloch County.

“We’re excited to see the continuing impact on the surrounding communities through job creation and investment in the entire region. We will continue to work closely with local organizations and businesses as we develop the pipeline of suppliers to the plant.”

The company’s efforts to provide vehicles with less impact on the climate also includes reducing the carbon footprint in making them. The new plant will rely mainly on renewable energy sources to power the facility and to use emission-reducing technologies to meet ER 100 requirements.

Parker said the company wants to solidify its position as one of the three leading EV producers in the U.S., behind only Ford and Tesla. The company also has the aim of achieving carbon neutrality in both its products and operations by 2045.

“Hyundai believes electric vehicles will be an important part of our transportation future,” Parker said, “and this new facility in Bryan County is a crucial step forward in realizing our goal to be a leader in the U.S. auto markets’ EV evolution.”

“This new EV plant is the future of our business, and it will help us meet the growing demands of our U.S. customers.” 

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