The South Korean manufacturer is joining Hyundai in ramping up local EV production.
Kia appears to be the next manufacturer to invest a large sum of money in the USA for electric vehicle production with the plan of starting operations by the first half of 2025. With EVs to be assembled at Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA), this initiative builds on Kia's already strong presence in Georgia. Kia's existing production facility in West Point was established in 2006 and is said to be one of the largest single foreign investments in the state. 40% of the brand's sales in the USA stem from its West Point factory.
Future Kia EVs will be produced at the recently announced $5.5 billion plant. It will be equipped to produce 300,000 vehicles a year.
HMGMA was revealed to us five months ago and is set to create 8,100 jobs in Georgia over the next few years as a local supply chain for batteries and other EV components is established. Kia already assembles the Telluride, Sorento, Sportage, and K5 in Georgia, and HMGMA can add to that list with EVs like the EV6 and upcoming EV9.
West Point has contributed over $10 million in support to the state's communities of which $6 million was put towards educational programs. The South Korean brand has also helped lead a charitable initiative for the needy and contributed large sums to charities in Bryan County and American Red Cross for Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The brand is taking its EV strategy more seriously now that the Kia Niro EV has landed in the USA with a sub-$40,000 price tag and about 2,000 miles of free charging, making it a more accessible crossover than the EV6. It is also playing a bit of a balancing act as it still offers relatively basic ICE products such as the aforementioned K5 and Rio hatch.
Kia's decision to ramp up local electric car production is partly motivated by the Inflation Reduction Act which provides tax benefits to manufacturers who produce EVs in the USA. This can equate to up to a $7,500 saving on new electric cars and $4,000 on used models.