By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Officials say Metaplant a "gift that keeps on giving.'
Hyundai 083123 signing 1
Shown from left at the Aug. 31, 2023 announcement of an additional $2 billion in investment Bryan County are Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, who is also chairman of the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority; Hyundai Metaplant America President Oscar Kwan; Jose Munoz, president and global COO of Hyundai Motor Company and the president and CEO of Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America; and Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

POOLER – Trip Tollison called Hyundai’s decision in 2022 to build its EV manufacturing plant in Bryan County “the gift that keeps on giving” during a ceremony Thursday following Gov. Brian Kemp’s announcement Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solutions will invest an additional $2 billion into manufacturing batteries at the Metaplant America in Bryan County.  

The description by Tollison, head of the Savannah Economic Development Authority, was echoed shortly afterward by Pat Wilson, Georgia's commissioner of economic development.  

The remarks came during the announcement the expansion of what was already the biggest single economic development project in state history will generate 400 additional jobs at the Metaplant currently under construction on the 3,000-acre Megasite in Black Creek abutting I-16.  

It brings the number of jobs at the Metaplant alone to 8,500 while increasing total investment in the EV facility there to more than $7.59 billion, according to Kemp’s office, which announced the additional jobs and investment roughly an hour before the ceremony following a brief meeting of the Savannah Harbor I-16 Joint Development Authority to sign the updated agreement between the JDA and Hyundai.   

Not counted in Thursday’s announced investment and jobs total is Hyundai supplier Hyundai Mobis’ construction of a $926 million facility in Richmond Hill at the Belfast Commerce Park. That plant, which will manufacture the power systems that operate the EVBs, is expected to employ at least 1,500 people and should begin operations in 2024.  

It also doesn’t include various announcements from suppliers to the Hyundai plant, which to date add up some $2 billion in investment and roughly 5,000 related jobs being created in Bulloch, Chatham and Effingham counties, also a part of the JDA, and in several other counties in Georgia farther afield.   

Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, who also serves as JDA chairman, said the ripple effect of opportunities created by Hyundai’s decision was “one of the most incredible aspects of this project.”  

The Metaplant, meanwhile, will be capable of manufacturing 300,000 electric vehicles per year at full production, according to Hyundai Chief Operating Officer Jose Munoz, who attended Thursday’s ceremony. He said the company expects to begin manufacturing the EVs early in 2025, but added production could begin sooner, given the pace of construction at the plant.  

“Stay tuned,” Munoz said.   

Economic development officials have long said the ability to provide manufacturers “speed to market,” meaning they could set up shop quickly, helped convince Hyundai to build its first fully dedicated EV manufacturing facility at the Megasite.   

Wilson echoed the importance of moving quickly, and said Thursday the recruiting process took less than six months, and it’s been roughly 15 months since Hyundai’s decision to build in Bryan County was announced in May 2022.  

“Now, before a car rolls even rolls off the assembly line we get to celebrate an expansion,” Wilson said, adding that states and local governments get into economic development because of the effect it has on communities and the people who live in them.   

“There’s no better reason or way … to change the trajectory of a community, a school system, a life, than to give somebody a job,” he said.   


Sign up for our E-Newsletters