Hyundai also spent $300 million upgrading its plant in Montgomery, Ala., to build the Genesis Electrified GV70, an electric version of the top-selling luxury crossover, as well as the hybrid version of the Hyundai Santa Fe.
In a similar move, the group is spending $200 million to ready the Kia Georgia factory in West Point to assemble the EV9, a boxy, three-row crossover and Kia’s second dedicated electric vehicle. Kia EVs also will benefit from a joint venture between HMG and battery supplier SK On that will likely be its primary source of power packs.
The first wave of Kia EV9s, to go on sale this year, will be imported from South Korea. Kia Mexico also is likely to undergo electrification upgrades. The company already produces the compact Forte and subcompact Rio, which is being discontinued after the 2023 model year, at its factory in Monterrey, Mexico. Forecasters believe two smaller electric crossovers will come from the plant after a full-scale retooling.
Hyundai and Kia offer a trio of powertrain platforms — gasoline, conventional hybrid and plug-in hybrid — for their popular cross- overs, including the Kia Sportage compact crossover, redesigned for the 2023 model year and now Kia’s longest-running nameplate.
Hyundai’s midsize Santa Fe crossover also is getting a radically new look for its fifth generation, possibly signaling a more modern design era for the rest of the lineup that complements the Ioniq EVs expected to roll out through the end of the decade.
Genesis has found new footing as a premium brand to watch with its standalone dealerships’ high-end accommodations and sleek, glass architecture to entice luxury buyers. The young brand continues to capture interest and volume with three electric offerings, sophisticated crossovers and elegant sedans.