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Biden to meet Hyundai Motor chief on new investment plan

May 21, 2022 - 13:21 By Lee Ji-yoon
Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun stands in front of a high-end N performance car at the group’s headquarters in southern Seoul. (Hyundai Motor Group)

US President Joe Biden will meet Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun on Sunday in Seoul to thank him for investment in the state of Georgia, Washington’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday.

The US president is scheduled to arrive in Seoul later in the day for his three-day state visit for summit talks with President Yoon Suk-yeol.

His planned meeting with the Hyundai Motor chief comes amid reports that the South Korean auto giant will announce a $7 billion investment plan building a new car plant in Georgia upon the president’s Seoul visit.

The new plant is highly likely to focus on electric vehicles, but reports said some gasoline engines could be produced at the site as well.

The world’s third-biggest carmaker by vehicles said last year it planned to invest $7.4 billion in the US by 2025 to produce EVs, upgrade production facilities and expand investment in smart mobility solutions.

It aims to elevate the portion of eco-friendly vehicles there to some 50 percent by 2030.

Currently, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors operate their plants in Alabama and Georgia, respectively.

Amid his big push to reshape global supply chains with friendly nations, Biden is increasingly making overtures to South Korea, a powerhouse of essential goods such as chips, batteries and EVs.

Upon arrival on Friday, he is expected to be heading directly to Samsung Electronics’ chip-manufacturing complex in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul.

President Yoon plans to accompany the visit, with Samsung’s Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong offering them a personal tour around the facilities.

Following summit talks of the two leaders on Saturday, a welcoming banquet will be hosted by Yoon for Biden and several chaebol group leaders, including those of the top four -- Samsung, SK, Hyundai Motor and LG – who have been invited to join.

Biden’s meeting with the Hyundai Motor chief is likely to be held Sunday morning, as he is scheduled to depart for Japan later in the day.