South Korean automaker Hyundai, which also owns the Kia and Genesis brands, is looking into expanding its all-electric vehicle building footprint in North America with a second manufacturing facility that could be built in Canada, according to Automotive News.
As per the source, which quotes Hyundai Auto Canada’s CEO Don Romano, “step two” of the company’s EV plans for the North American region hasn’t been decided yet, but “Canada’s going to be part of that conversation,” Romano said.
According to Automotive News Canada, a series of talks with Canadian officials have already taken place, but they haven’t been exclusive, as government officials from the United States and Mexico have also been contacted concerning the automaker’s future manufacturing plans.
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Hyundai Motor Company is already building a brand new electric vehicle factory in the state of Georgia, which will also have an adjacent EV battery plant to support production, but with the Korean company aiming to exponentially increase its all-electric vehicle business in the next decade, it’s looking to expand even further.
To try and sweeten the deal, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, met with Hyundai officials during a trip to South Korea in May and later pledged on his official Twitter account “to keep working together to expand and collaborate” in the EV and critical minerals sectors, without going into details.
“Canada is now pushing for an EV future,” said Sam Fiorani, vice-president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, for Automotive News. “It makes a lot of sense to piggyback off of the battery plants and the technology, and the good people who are there to provide R&D, to provide assembly work [and] to provide supplier parts.”
Currently, the Korean car group is Canada’s highest-volume automaker without a significant manufacturing footprint in the country, selling 186,566 vehicles in 2022.
If Hyundai will choose Canada as the home of its second North American EV factory, it would be the second time the Korean brand opened a manufacturing facility in this part of the world. Back in 1989, the group spent about $400 million to build its first assembly plant in the region, but sales of the then-new Sonata dwindled, so the factory was put on pause in 1993 and shut down in 1995.
Hyundai Motor Company also operates a vehicle factory in Alabama, where it builds internal combustion engine vehicles.
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