Hyundai Motor has kicked off construction on a 2 trillion won ($1.5 billion) facility in South Korea that will be dedicated to manufacturing electric vehicles.
The group, which owns the Hyundai and Kia brands, held the groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday in Ulsan, where the carmaker built its first assembly plant in 1968.
The new factory will be capable of producing 200,000 electric vehicles a year, the company said in a statement. The construction is scheduled to be completed in 2025, and mass production of vehicles will commence in the first quarter of 2026, it added.
An electric sport utility vehicle from the group’s luxury brand, Genesis, will be the first model to be produced at the new plant.
“Just as the dream of building the best car in the past made Ulsan an automotive city today, I trust Ulsan will be an innovative mobility city that leads the way in the era of electrification, starting with a dedicated EV plant,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Chair of Hyundai Motor Group.
The Korean carmaker’s investment in electric vehicles comes at a time when some of its rivals are taking the foot off the pedal. General Motors said last month it will postpone expanding production of electric trucks, and Ford recently announced that it was laying off 700 workers building its F-150 Lightning electric pickup, citing “multiple constraints, including the supply chain.”
Experts said there is a slackening of demand in the industry, with electric vehicles sitting unsold on dealer lots longer than gas-powered vehicles.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Group, is also investing $5.5 billion in Georgia to build electric vehicles and battery facilities.