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South Korean Auto and Battery Companies Increasing Investment in North America

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Hyundai Motor plant in Montgomery, Alabama

Automotive News reported on Dec. 20 that the 10 largest investment projects announced this year in the automotive industry of North America are related to the electric vehicle industry without exception, the top five include four of South Korean automakers and EV battery manufacturers, and the four include joint venture investments from LG Energy Solution and SK On.

Hyundai Motor Group announced in May this year that it would invest US$7.4 billion by 2025 in EV, robot and urban air mobility facilities in North America. This is the biggest of the 10.

Blue Oval SK, a joint company of Ford and SK On, took the second and third places. Specifically, the second-biggest is related to its battery park to be built in Kentucky at an investment of US$5.8 billion and the third is to build a battery and EV plant in Tennessee by investing US$5.6 billion.

The fourth is Rivian’s EV plant construction project in Georgia announced on Dec. 16 with a size of US$5 billion. The fifth is related to the battery cell plant GM and LG Energy Solution will build in Tennessee by investing US$2.3 billion.

The top 10 list also includes Toyota without including any European company. When it comes to EV battery investments, the list includes Toyota as well as LG Energy Solution and SK On. European automakers are increasing their EV and battery investments in Europe rather than abroad. Their current focus is Europe and China rather than the United States. Chinese EV battery manufacturers are focusing on China and Europe, too.

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