Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (L) shakes hands with Hyundai Motor President Chang Jae-hoon after signing a $5.5 billion investment plan to build a dedicated electric vehicle factory complex in the state Friday. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor
SEOUL, May 23 (UPI) -- South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor announced Friday it would invest $5.5 billion to build a dedicated electric vehicle and battery factory complex in Bryan County, Ga.
Two days later, Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Eui-sun said the company would invest an additional $5 billion in the United States by 2025 for self-driving software, artificial intelligence and robotics.
Hyundai strives to start commercial production in early 2025 with an annual capacity of 300,000 units in Georgia. The firm said that details about the battery plant would be disclosed later.
The Seoul-based company expected that the projects would create around 8,100 new jobs.
The signing ceremony was held in Bryan County on Friday, attended by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Hyundai CEO Chang Jae-hoon. Chung joined the event via video.
The decision was announced during U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to Seoul. Chung disclosed the additional $5 billion U.S. investment after a one-on-one meeting with Biden.
The Biden administration has put forth efforts to attract more investment in such high-tech industries as semiconductors and EVs to generate more jobs.
"The future of transportation is in the Peach State as we announce the largest project in our state's history -- delivering high-quality jobs on the leading edge of mobility to hardworking Georgians," Kemp said at the ceremony.
Chung said the U.S. factory is the company's first dedicated to EVs and battery manufacturing.
"The U.S. has always held an important place in the group's global strategy, and we are excited to partner with the state of Georgia to achieve our shared goal of electrified mobility and sustainability in the U.S.," he said in a video message.
Observers point out that the investment is in tandem with Hyundai's roadmap to speed its transition to electrification. The firm vowed to churn out 17 EV models by 2030.
"Together with its sister company Kia, Hyundai Motor strives to carve out more than 10% of the global EV market by 2030. To achieve the goal, the U.S. market is very significant," Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo told UPI News Korea.
"That's why the firm is set to build an EV factory complex in the U.S. In addition, Hyundai would be able to secure subsidies and other benefits through the investment," he said.
Hyundai Motor opened its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Ala., in 2005. Its sister company also runs production facilities in West Point, Ga.