Hyundai Motor’s envisioned US plant in Georgia to prioritize EVs: CEO

Brian Kemp, left, governor of the U.S. state of Georgia, talks with Hyundai Motor CEO Chang Jae-hoon, right, during an event celebrating his visit to Korea at Conrad Seoul, Monday. Top executives from Korea's major firms, such as Hyundai Motor, Kia and SK On, attended the event. Yonhap

A new car manufacturing plant by Hyundai Motor, Korea’s largest automaker, under construction in the U.S. state of Georgia will prioritize producing electric vehicles despite a temporary fluctuation in market demand, the company’s CEO said Monday.

“Even though the demand for electric vehicles is temporarily fluctuating more than expected, we believe our direction toward electric vehicles is correct,” said Chang Jae-hoon, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor, when asked by reporters in Seoul on how the company plans to operate Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA), which is currently under construction in Georgia.

“For now, electric vehicles are the top priority,” Chang said.

The Hyundai CEO was attending a business event hosted by the Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who was visiting Korea to 안전 promote his state’s strong business ties with Korean companies. Georgia has successfully attracted high-profile investments from big Korean businesses, such as Hyundai Motor, SK, Hanwha and LG, in recent years.

HMGMA is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter. The company also plans to produce hybrid vehicles at the plant.

“Georgia is not only a key area for our company but also the region where the most Korean companies have expanded, making it significantly important in terms of investment scale,” Chang added.

During his Korean trip, which began last week, Kemp also met with key executives of other Korean businesses, including those of SK Group and LG Group.

Hyundai Motor and SK On, SK Group’s battery arm, are also building a battery plant in Georgia with an annual production capacity of 35 gigawatt hours. SK On is also operating two of its own plants in Georgia. 

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