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Hyundai’s Georgia ‘Metaplant’ will spark EV expansion

ELLABELL, Ga. — Hyundai Motor Group broke ground Tuesday on a mammoth $5.54 billion manufacturing project that will produce electric vehicles and batteries for the Hyundai, Genesis and Kia brands.

Jose Munoz, Hyundai’s global chief operating officer, said the dedicated EV factory, to be called the Metaplant, will build up to six models and have the capacity to produce up to half a million vehicles a year on a 2,800-acre plot of land 30 miles northwest of Savannah.

“We are making the current investment to get to 300,000 vehicles in phase one, and then 500,000,” Munoz said at a media roundtable after the groundbreaking ceremony.

“Construction is expected to start as soon as possible, and then the target is to start production January 2025,” he said.

Munoz did not say which models the Metaplant will produce, but a new three-row Hyundai EV crossover called the Ioniq 7 is expected to be the first. Munoz also said Hyundai is still examining what models it will export from the new plant.

The project also will see the construction of an adjacent battery plant that will be built through a joint venture with a battery supplier that Hyundai has not identified yet.

A new supply chain also will be established to support the EV factory, Munoz said.

“Most of the things are going to be new because we are going to have this battery EV joint venture as well,” Munoz said. “Some of the suppliers that are already in the state are going to serve the new plant as well, but for the most part, everything will be all new.”

The Metaplant plus the battery plant should put Hyundai in a favorable position to receive federal EV tax credits under the new Inflation Reduction Act.

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