Hyundai, Georgia Tech Celebrate Partnership With Memorandum Signing
In front of a standing-room-only crowd inside the John Lewis Student Center's Atlantic Theater, global leaders from the Hyundai Motor Group and Georgia Tech signed a memorandum of understanding, creating a transformative partnership focused on sustainable mobility, the hydrogen economy, and workforce development.
As the automaker continues to construct its Metaplant America site in Bryan County — the cornerstone of Hyundai's $12 billion investment into electric vehicles and battery production across the state of Georgia — today's signing ceremony symbolizes the vision that Hyundai and Georgia Tech share on the road to advancing technology and improving the human condition.
"As a leading public technological research university, we believe we have the opportunity and the responsibility to serve society, and that technology and the science and policy that support it must change our world for the better. These are responsibilities and challenges that we boldly accept. And we know we can't get there alone. On the contrary, we need travel partners, like-minded innovators, and partners with whom we can go farther, and today's partnership with Hyundai is a perfect example of what that means," Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera said.
The state of Georgia and the Institute have positioned themselves as leaders in the electrification of the automotive industry. Hyundai is among the top sellers of electric vehicles in the United States as the company aims to produce up to 500,000 vehicles annually at the $7 billion Savannah plant when production begins in 2025. The plant will create 8,500 jobs, and the company's total investments are projected to inject tens of billions of dollars into the state economy while spurring the creation of up to 40,000 jobs.
"It's clear, we are in the right place with the right partners," Jay Chang, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company, said. "When our executive chairman first decided on [the site of] the metaplant, one of the first things he said was, 'Make sure we collaborate with Georgia Tech.’ Hyundai and Georgia Tech have a lot in common. We have proud histories. We celebrate excellence, and we have very high standards. What we love about Georgia Tech is the vision to be a leading research university that addresses global challenges and develops exceptional leaders from all backgrounds."
Spearheading new opportunities for students, the partnership will create technical training and leadership development programming for Hyundai employees and initiate engagement activities to stimulate interest in STEM degrees among students.
José Muñoz, president and global COO of Hyundai Motor Company and president and CEO of Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America, says the company quickly realized the potential impact of the newly forged partnership with Georgia Tech.
"Proximity to institutions like Georgia Tech was one of the many reasons Hyundai selected Georgia for our new EV manufacturing facility. Imagine zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered vehicles here on campus, advanced air mobility shuttling people to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, or riding hands-free and stress-free in autonomous vehicles during rush hour on I-75 and I-85. Together, Georgia Tech and Hyundai have the resources to fundamentally improve how people and goods move," he said.
In pursuit of sustainability, Hyundai has invested heavily in the potential of hydrogen and plans to lean on the Institute's expertise to explore the potential of the alternative fuel source, primarily for commercial vehicles. Hyundai has deployed its hydrogen-powered XCIENT rigs to transport materials in five countries.
University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue was on hand for Tuesday’s ceremony. Reflecting on his visits to the company's global headquarters in South Korea prior to the construction of the West Point, Georgia, Kia plant, he praised the company's values and world-class engineering ability.
"This is a relationship built on mutual trust and respect. It's a company, a family atmosphere, and a culture that I respect and admire for the way they do business and honor progress, innovation, and creativity. That is why I am so excited about this partnership between the Hyundai Motor Group and the Georgia Institute of Technology because that will only enhance that," Perdue said.
Owned by Hyundai, Kia recently invested an additional $200 million into its West Point facility to prepare for the production of the all-electric 2024 EV9 SUV. The plant currently manufactures more than 40% of all Kia models sold in the U.S.
The partnership also includes field-naming recognition at Bobby Dodd Stadium, which is now known as Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field, and provides student-athletes and teams with the resources needed to compete at the highest levels, both athletically and academically.