Hyundai building metaplant in US while Seoul consults USTR on IRA details

Yusin Hu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Hyundai Motor Group announced at the end of October that it broke ground on Metaplant America to produce EV and EV batteries in the US, following the passage of the US' new law Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that excludes electric vehicles (EVs) assembled outside the US from receiving tax incentives.

Located in the Bryan county in the state of Georgia in the US, the Hyundai Metaplant is expected to begin commercial production in the first half of 2025 with an annual capacity of 300,000 units of EVs.

The US$5.54 billion investment by Hyundai and affiliate suppliers includes plans to produce a diverse range of innovative Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia EVs and a new battery manufacturing facility, according to Hyundai. The company aims to establish a stable supply chain for EV batteries and other EV components in the US.

The IRA has sparked concerns because the US is one of South Korea's largest markets for cars. According to South Korean media Yonhap News Agency (YNA), South Korean trade minister Ahn Deuk-geun met with US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai last week in Bangkok, Thailand, and the two have agreed to continue close consultations regarding the IRA.

South Korea's trade ministry said in a press release that Ahn has "called for devising detailed measures" to ease concerns, YNA reported.

The bilateral talks have been ongoing since September. The IRA was signed into law by the US president in August.

YNA reported last week that deputy trade minister Jeong Dae-jin met with the state secretary of Sweden's foreign ministry and they discussed how to jointly deal with the IRA matter. According to the report, Jeong "voiced hope" for Sweden to be the leader in resolving the IRA issue as Sweden will preside over the EU council for the first half of 2023.

South Korea sold around 32,000 EVs to the US in 2021, while Sweden sold around 23,000 EVs to the US.