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Hyundai Motor breaks ground on US$1.5-billion EV plant in South Korea

Reuters - Sun Nov 12, 2023

Hyundai Motor Co (HYMTF) on Monday broke ground on a 2 trillion won (US$1.52 billion) dedicated electric vehicle (EV) plant in South Korea, as the auto maker accelerate a shift to electrification.

Hyundai Motor, the world’s No. 3 auto maker by sales with its affiliate Kia Corp, plans to begin mass production of EVs from the plant in the first quarter of 2026 after completing construction in 2025.

The factory in Ulsan in the southeast of the country will have an annual capacity of 200,000 units and the company said its first model will be an electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) from its luxury brand Genesis.

Hyundai Motor Group, which encompasses Hyundai Motor, Kia and Genesis brands, said in April it plans to launch 31 EVs by 2030.

Hyundai Motor Group’s Executive Chair Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor’s chief executive officer and other officials, including the Ulsan Metropolitan City Mayor, attended the event to witness the ground breaking of the EV factory, the automaker’s first new plant in South Korea in 29 years. Hyundai’s Ulsan complex is its biggest manufacturing site.

The groundbreaking comes after Hyundai Motor said it would stick to its EV rollout plans – a contrast to some rivals that have pulled back on EV production due to cooling demand.

Citing flattening demand for EVs, General Motors Co said it would delay production by a year of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra electric pickup trucks at a plant in Michigan. Ford Motor Co is temporarily cutting one of three shifts at the plant that builds its electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck.

Tesla Inc is also slowing plans for a Mexico factory, while GM and Honda announced last month that they were ending a $5 billion plan to develop lower-cost EVs together.

Last year, Hyundai Motor Group broke ground on a $5.54 billion EV and battery plants in the U.S. state of Georgia.