Employees work on the production line of Hyundai Motor’s Ioniq 5 electric vehicles at the company’s factory in Ulsan, South Korea, in this photo taken January 20, 2022. (Bloomberg)
The US president is due to arrive in Seoul later on Friday for his three-day visit for summit talks with President Yoon Suk-yeol.
His planned meeting with the head of Hyundai Motor comes amid reports that the South Korean auto giant will announce a $7 billion investment plan to build a new auto plant in Georgia during the visit of the president in Seoul.
The new plant is very likely to focus on electric vehicles, but reports indicate that some gasoline engines could also be produced at the site.
The world’s third-largest automaker by vehicle sales said last year it plans to invest $7.4 billion in the United States by 2025 to produce electric vehicles, upgrade production facilities and increase investment in smart mobility solutions.
Its objective is to increase the share of ecological vehicles to around 50% by 2030.
Currently, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors operate their factories in Alabama and Georgia, respectively.
Amid his big push to reshape global supply chains with friendly nations, Biden is making more overtures to South Korea, a powerhouse of essential goods like chips, batteries and vehicles electrical.
When he arrives on Friday, he is expected to go directly to Samsung Electronics’ chip manufacturing complex in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, about 70 kilometers south of Seoul.
Chairman Yoon plans to accompany the tour, with Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong giving them a personal tour of the facilities.
After the two leaders’ summit talks on Saturday, a welcome banquet will be hosted by Yoon for Biden and several chaebol group leaders, including those from the top four – Samsung, SK, Hyundai Motor and LG – have been invited to join.
Biden’s meeting with the Hyundai Motor chief is expected to take place on Sunday morning as he is due to leave for Japan later in the day.
By Lee Ji-yoon ([email protected])