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Published on June 19, 2024
Hyundai to Begin Production of IONIQ 5 EV in New Georgia Plant Ahead of ScheduleSource: Wikipedia/© M 93 / Wikimedia Commons

The electric vehicle landscape is shifting as Hyundai sets its gears in motion to start producing their flagship IONIQ 5 crossover at a new facility in Bryan County, Georgia. The South Korean automaker has announced the plan for the cutting-edge EV to be the initial model coming off the line at its $7.6 billion plant, which is still under construction near Savannah. This comes according to a report by GPB, detailing that the production is slated to start between October and December of this year, earlier than the previously projected early 2025 timeline.

Hyundai appears to be keen to competitively position itself in the U.S. EV market, with plans to eventually make the Bryan County site their exclusive production hub for the IONIQ 5 models stateside. No concrete timeline has been shared yet as to when this will fully take place. Even as the final structure of the facility remains to be completed, the car manufacturer has already kicked off preliminary tests of vehicles in the production space, with another test phase scheduled to swiftly follow on Thursday. As Joe LaMuraglia, the communications director for Hyundai Metaplant, revealed, "It's all about training," in a statement obtained by GPB.

The Metaplant is anticipated to not only streamline EV production but also to be a significant job creator. It's expected to directly generate 8,500 jobs and catalyze an even broader economic impact. Reflecting back on Hyundai's historical investment in the United States, LaMuraglia also drew comparisons to the company's Alabama plant, launched two decades prior, as a transformative force in the local economy. "One of my colleagues — and one of the executives in the company — came from that facility, and he basically said they recreated the middle class. And that's what we hope to do here," he told GPB.

However, Hyundai and its supplier network may soon have to strategically navigate a looming labor shortage. A recent economic development study anticipates a shortfall of 1,454 industrial jobs unfilled by 2025, with predictions indicating the deficit will potentially widen until the labor market is expected to rebound in 2027. This challenge poses a managerial hurdle, the resolution of which could significantly affect the potential success and growth of this ambitious venture.