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Officials headed to South Korea
Hyundai logo

Bryan County officials are joining counterparts in Bulloch, Chatham and Effingham counties on a trip to South Korea to visit Hyundai Motor Group headquarters in Seoul.

The group includes 17 elected and appointed officials from the counties in the Savannah Harbor- Interstate 16 Joint Development Authority. They leave Saturday from Savannah on the more than 7,300-mile trip and will return April 22. Also going are Georgia Department of Economic Commissioner Pat Wilson and a member of his staff.

The visit is a result of an invitation in October rom Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chairman Euisun Chung, according to Trip Tollison, the president and CEO of the Savannah Economic Development Authority and a member of the JDA.

“He personally invited us to visit the headquarters of Hyundai and to learn more about the company, the suppliers and affiliates and also to learn more about Korean customs, their education system, their culture,” Tollison said. “We’ll be really hustling for a week but the good news is not only are we knocking out an opportunity to visit Hyundai leadership, we’ve got six announced suppliers in the region we’ll be able to visit while we’re there.”

While it was unclear Wednesday how much the trip will cost, the JDA will pay the air fare for the officials on the trip and the participants will pay for their lodging, according to Tollison.

“When we’re on the ground Hyundai is hosting various meetings and lunches,” he said, which will alleviate a lot of the expense for participants.

Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, along with County Administrator Ben Taylor, Development Authority of Bryan County CEO Anna Chafin and DABC Secretary Boyce Young will be taking the trip to represent the county.

“We were very excited to receive an invitation from Chairman Chung to visit South Korea next week,” Infinger said. “This trip represents a great opportunity for our region to not only continue to build on our relationships with Hyundai and the suppliers that have announced in the region, but also to learn more about South Korean culture and the people who are our new neighbors and co-workers.”

The trip comes on the heels of another announcement from Gov. Brian Kemp regarding Hyundai supplier Seohan Auto Georgia, which will invest some $72 million in a manufacturing plant creating 180 jobs at Tradeport East Business Center in Liberty County.

The company will make shafts, axles and brakes for the EVs.

That’s the latest project tied to Hyundai, which broke ground in October on its Metaplant America, a $5.5 billion investment in electric vehicle manufacturing at the Bryan County Mega-Site in Black Creek.

Roughly a month after Hyundai broke ground in Black Creek, Kemp announced Hyundai Mobis would build a $960 million plant in Richmond Hill providing some 1,500 jobs manufacturing power packs for the vehicles.

Other investments tied to the Hyundai Metaplant America include Bulloch County’s Ecoplastic Corporation and Joon Georgia, which are expected to add a combined 1,086 jobs and $522 million in investment.

Chatham has gotten more than 1,100 jobs and $130 million in investment coming from Hyundai suppliers PHA and Seovon E-HWA, while Effingham County has $300 million in investment and 740 jobs from Sewon America.

Statewide, investment related to Hyundai has exceeded estimates by more than $1 billion, according to Kemp’s latest announcement.

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