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Hyundai’s US EV plant green lit

GOING GREEN: Hyundai confirms a new electric vehicle and battery plant for the United States as part of $7.4 billion investment.

Santa Fe hybrid and Genesis GV70 EV among models planned for US production

22 Apr 2022

HYUNDAI Motor Company (HMC) COO Jose Muñoz has announced that the South Korean firm will build a plant for electric vehicles and batteries at an as-yet-undisclosed location as part of the group’s US$7.4 billion ($A10.1b) investment in its US facilities.


HMC would also upgrade existing factories and develop “smart mobility technologies” within the United States, Mr Muñoz said, who further confirmed that the group’s Montgomery facility in Alabama would begin building hybrid versions of the Santa Fe and an all-electric version of the related Genesis GV70 before the end of the year.


The Santa Fe hybrid will become Hyundai’s first electrified model to be assembled in the United States when production commences in October. Production of the Genesis GV70 will follow before the end of 2022.


Mr Muñoz told Automotive News that the new models for the Alabama plant would require a US$300 million ($A407.6m) investment and create 200 new jobs, adding that EVs were “an important part of Hyundai’s efforts to become carbon-neutral”. HMC eventually plans to build a “suite” of electric vehicles in the ‘States – the move is tipped to slow the brand’s market decline (of 4.5 per cent) since the beginning of the year.


HMC sales chief, Randy Parker, told Automotive News that despite the dip, consumer demand for the brand’s electrified range – including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles – remained strong, representing approximately 16 per cent of the brand’s overall sales mix within the United States.


Mr Parker said that the Genesis brand also continued to post solid numbers on the back of the success of its GV70 and GV80 SUV variants (the luxury marque’s sales figures grew by 43 per cent in the first quarter of 2022). In the United States, Genesis has enjoyed 16 straight months of growth, with March 2022 the “best-ever for the brand”.


Hyundai has yet to release the Santa Fe hybrid in Australia, with HMCA saying the model is expected in local showrooms before the end of the year.


The model will rival the Kia Sorento hybrid and Toyota Kluger hybrid in the large seven-seat SUV segment and, like its Kia cousin, will offer the combination of a 132kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine, 44kW electric motor and 1.5kWh battery pack. Total system power of the Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid in overseas markets is rated at 169kW with front- and all-wheel drive configurations available.


Australian pricing and specifications of the Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid will be announced closer to the model’s Q4 launch.

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