That record fell on Friday as Kemp unveiled an even bigger electric vehicle facility, a Hyundai factory west of Savannah that is expected to create 8,100 jobs when fully built, 600 more than the Rivian project announced in December. The project will also include a battery manufacturing plant.
“We’re proud to welcome Hyundai Motor Group to Georgia as we forge an innovative future together,” Kemp said during a signing ceremony at the plant site off Interstate 16 in Georgia County. Brian. “With this announcement…we will continue to work to make Georgia the destination of choice for quality businesses that create the jobs of today, tomorrow and beyond.”
“The United States has always occupied an important place in [Hyundai Motor Group’s] global strategy,” added Euisun Chung, executive chairman of the Korean automaker. “We are excited to partner with the State of Georgia to achieve our shared goal of electrified mobility and sustainability in the United States.
Hyundai will invest $5.54 billion in the new plant, and unaffiliated suppliers will invest an additional $1 billion.
State and local economic development leaders have been working to land Hyundai for some time. The 2,923-acre “mega-site” was jointly purchased by the state and the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Joint Development Authority last year.
Kemp had initial conversations in 2019, his first year in office, when he visited South Korea with senior officials from Georgia’s economic development ministry.
U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., met with Chung and other Hyundai officials last November during a trip to South Korea.
“This multi-billion dollar opportunity for Georgia will create thousands of jobs and strengthen Georgia’s reputation as a world leader in auto manufacturing and clean energy,” Ossoff said Friday.
Hyundai plans to begin construction of the new plant in January, with full production expected in the first half of 2025. Wages for the advanced manufacturing jobs the plant will create will be competitive with the local market.
In choosing Georgia, Hyundai cited the state’s speed to market, workforce and ability to meet the company’s carbon neutral standards. Additionally, Georgia is home to an existing network of Hyundai subsidiaries and suppliers.
Kemp’s second major economic development win in less than six months comes just days before the Republican governor faces former U.S. Senator David Perdue in the GOP gubernatorial primary.
Perdue criticized the $1.5 billion in incentives the state pledged to spend to lure Rivian to Georgia. In a recent debate, Kemp responded that the 7,500 jobs the Rivian plant is expected to create justifies the level of incentives offered by the state.