A high-ranking insider of Hyundai Motor Company announced on Thursday (local time) that the company could reconsider its investment in the electric vehicle plant in Georgia, the U.S., if the damage increases due to discrimination against Korean electric vehicles through subsidies under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022.
At a seminar hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Robert Hood, vice president of Government Affairs at Hyundai Motor’s Washington office, said, “If sales (of electric vehicles in the U.S.) don’t increase, questions on whether the plant (in Georgia) is economically feasible will begin to emerge.”
When asked if there was a possibility that Hyundai Motor Company would cancel or reduce its investment in an electric vehicle plant in Georgia because of the IRA, he said, “It is an economic decision that we must keep an eye on.”
“If we fail to meet our employment and production target, we will be penalized by the State of Georgia,” said Hood, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. “In Mexico, everything is much cheaper, including labor and production costs. It remains to be seen whether the company will reconsider that possibility.”
However, he said that the U.S. market is very important, and Kia's Georgia plant and Hyundai Motor's Alabama plant were successful. “We don’t want to leave the U.S. Our request to the U.S. is not to punish us for making an investment that the U.S. wanted,” he said.
Regarding Vice President Hood's remarks, Hyundai Motor’s headquarters seemed to be wary of broad interpretation. "It came out to emphasize fair competition because the U.S. market is so important," the headquarters said. The company's electric vehicle plant in Georgia already had a groundbreaking ceremony two months ago, and construction has begun with the goal of completion in 2025.