Announcement set to confirm $7 billion auto plant in Georgia
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A year after the state of Georgia and local government partners spent $61 million to purchase a vast tract of land for future industrial development, Gov. Brian Kemp planned to visit the site on Friday for what his office would do. describe only as a “special economic development announcement”.
A Washington official previously told The Associated Press that the project would be a massive auto factory where Hyundai Motor Group would manufacture electric cars. Slated to cost $7 billion and employ up to 8,500 workers, according to two Georgian officials familiar with the plans, the plant would rank among the biggest development deals ever in Georgia.
None of the three officials was authorized to discuss the project publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The announcement comes five days before Kemp faces a contested Republican primary election against former U.S. Senator David Perdue. It also coincides with President Joe Biden’s visit to South Korea, where Hyundai is headquartered.
State and local authorities purchased the 2,200-acre (890-hectare) site a year ago in Bryan County, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) inland from Savannah. The land is adjacent to Interstate 16 which connects Savannah and Macon, not far from its intersection with Interstate 95 which spans the east coast. It is also close to the Port of Savannah, the fourth busiest US seaport.
Bryan County and neighboring Chatham County, which includes Savannah, each contributed $9 million to the $61 million purchase price.
Hyundai Motor Group sells cars under the Hyundai and Kia brands. The South Korean automaker already operates two US assembly plants in Montgomery, Alabama, and West Point, Georgia.
It would be the second major electric vehicle plant announced in Georgia in less than a year. Rivian Automotive announced plans in December for a $5 billion electric truck plant east of Atlanta that is expected to employ about 7,500 workers.
In his primary campaign against Kemp, Perdue attacked the Rivian deal and his promises of $1.5 billion in tax incentives and relief by Georgia and local governments. Perdue says the deal transfers money to liberal financiers and the state has not consulted with local residents who fear the plant threatens their rural quality of life.
Amy reported from Atlanta and Madhani reported from Washington.