Updated at 3:20 p.m. May 20: Governor Brian Kemp announced in an afternoon gathering that the north Bryan County megasite off I-16 near Ellabell will be the new home for a Hyundai factory to build Kia electric vehicles.
Kemp said the state was now the “unrivaled” leader of the electric mobility industry. He said the state’s education, workforce development programs and port infrastructure were the draws for Hyundai.
“Today is the product of strong partnerships and hard work,” Kemp said. The Executive Chair of Hyundai Motor Group, Euisun Chung, appeared via satellite. Chung, recently named Newsweek’s Visionary of the Year” pledged to maintain a stable supply chain and power the work with renewable energy. It will manufacture batteries for the vehicles on-site.
The $5.54 billion plant should start production in 2025 and may employ 8,100 people.
From earlier report: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will make a “special economic development announcement” Friday in Ellabell, according to a Wednesday afternoon release from the governor’s office. In recent weeks, reports have indicated that Georgia could be the site of a second vehicle manufacturing plant for Hyundai, parent company of Kia. The potential site, in north Bryan County near Ellabell, is a megasite located just off I-16 and I-95, with connections to the Port of Savannah. The state bought the nearly 3,000 acre site last July.
The Friday event is set for 3 p.m. and will include members of Kemp’s family, and Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson, local officials and other representatives from the private sector, according to the announcement.
Once complete, the electric vehicle manufacturing plant would bring an estimated 8,500 jobs to the area. Other details, including projected costs, are unknown.
Gov. Brian Kemp said he has been working with international leaders to bring more business to Georgia. President Joseph Biden is in South Korea this week to talk to officials there about investments by each country.
“There was a reason I made my first economic development trip to South Korea and visited with great companies like Kia and Hyundai and a lot of others,” Kemp said. “You know, we’ve got a great partnership with them and a lot of other South Korean companies and we have for a long time.”
That partnership includes electric vehicle battery maker SK Innovations which is currently building two new production facilities in Jackson County.
Hyundai isn’t new to Georgia. The car company opened its first U.S manufacturing site in West Point under the Kia brand back in 2006.
The new plant would further push Georgia ahead of other states in the Southeast as a regional hub for the emerging EV industry. A year end report from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy listed Georgia as first in the region for manufacturing employment and second for manufacturing investment.
This story comes to The Current GA through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.