It was a generational announcement. Surrounded by state and regional dignitaries including Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, Hyundai Motor Group confirmed that it will construct its first fully dedicated electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in Bryan County. The company will invest $5.54 billion and create 8,100 new jobs on 2,923 acres. It was an incredible show of unity between the State, spearheaded by Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson, the Economic Development Authorities of Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, and Bulloch, the City of Savannah and the other Municipalities, the Georgia Port Authority, and Georgia Power.
Mayor Johnson pointed out that the only way to get this job done was for the city of Savannah to supply water to the site. Seeing the enormous benefit to the region and the citizens of Savannah, the Mayor and Council enthusiastically pitched in.The temperature at the outdoor event was 96 degrees, but SEDA and World Trade Center Savannah President Trip Tollison remarked that in the economic development world, Savannah was the hottest place on Earth. This project is the largest in the State’s history. Ultimately, Hyundai chose Georgia because of the speed-to-market requirements that reduce barrier to speedy operations, industrial utilities are adjacent to the site, and extensive due diligence reports. Georgia boasts a very highly skilled labor force thanks to programs run at institutions like Savannah Technical College, helmed by Dr. Kathy Love who was in attendance with TCG Commissioner Greg Dozier. At the new facility, Hyundai Motor Group plans to implement many of its advanced intelligent manufacturing technologies that are currently under test at the Group’s innovation hub, including intelligent AI-equipped manufacturing and data-driven processes to best meet demands of customers. For those of you in the community who are not yet familiar with this dynamic, cutting edge company, at least remember this, Hyundai rhymes with Sunday.
Scott Center is Chairman of World Trade Center Savannah and a Director of the Savannah Economic Development Authority.