ATLANTA — Kia will make investments $200 million in its Georgia manufacturing unit to start producing an electric-powered SUV, the corporate introduced Wednesday.
The South Korean firm stated it could rent an extra 200 staff to start producing its giant EV9 automobile in West Level by early 2024. The corporate stated it could increase total manufacturing on the plant close to the Alabama state line southwest of Atlanta. Kia says the plant presently produces 340,000 automobiles a yr, together with Telluride, Sorrento and Sportage SUVs and K5 sedans.
Kia has 3,000 workers on the plant. Spokesperson Patrick Sands stated the EV9 could be constructed on the identical meeting line as the opposite automobiles, and Kia was investing to assemble electrical powertrains.
Hyundai Motor Group, Kia’s dad or mum, is pushing arduous into electrical automobiles. Hyundai is sprinting to finish a $5.5 billion plant to assemble electrical automobiles and batteries in Ellabell, Georgia, close to Savannah. The corporate additionally invested $300 million in its Montgomery, Alabama plant to start making electrical automobiles there, beginning with the Genesis Electrified GV70 SUV. Hyundai additionally 200 employed extra staff for that Alabama funding.
Kia leaders stated they hoped the EV9, with three rows of seats, would do for firm gross sales what the big Telluride did for the model as soon as it started rolling off the meeting line in West Level in 2019. Kia started delivering EV9s to clients in South Korea final month.
“Like Telluride, EV9 has the potential to be one other change catalyst for Kia,” Sean Yoon, President and CEO of Kia Motors America, stated in an announcement. “This would be the most modern automobile that we have now ever constructed and shall be a standout within the EV market and on the street.”
The funding comes whilst Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Hyundai complain that federal electrical automobile tax credit are unfair to the South Korean producer as a result of its automobiles are solely eligible if they’re leased. The home content material requirements of the Inflation Discount Act, which is pumping billions into electrical automobile subsidies, make tax incentives on electrical automobile purchases out there solely when the automobile, the battery, and key uncooked supplies within the battery are all made in the USA.
Hyundai has introduced it can companion in a battery manufacturing unit in Cartersville, northwest of Atlanta.
Georgia has been a prime beneficiary of a nationwide electrical automobile funding growth, with greater than 40 electrical vehicle-related tasks since 2020 pledging $22.9 billion of funding and 28,600 jobs within the state. Kemp has stated he and different Georgia officers ought to get credit score, whereas Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff has argued President Joe Biden’s insurance policies are driving the growth.
Georgia can pay to coach staff for the Kia growth. The corporate says on its web site that manufacturing staff begin with a wage of $38,000 a yr, with pay raises and further pay for working night shifts.
Kia might qualify for $1.75 million in state earnings tax credit, at $1,750 per job over 5 years, so long as staff make at the very least $31,300 a yr. The corporate might qualify for different incentives, together with property tax breaks from West Level and Troup County.
Kia bought greater than $450 million in incentives for its plant in West Level, which opened in 2010. West Level’s monetary statements present that in 2019, Kia, its associates and suppliers had been receiving $2.8 million in property tax breaks from town alone.