Santa Fe Hybrid Is Hyundai’s First Electrified Vehicle Made in the USA
Although headquartered in South Korea, like many other volume automakers, Hyundai makes cars everywhere, including the U.S. Its Montgomery, Alabama plant makes a variety of models, including the current-gen Hyundai Santa Fe crossover/SUV. However, so far, Hyundai has kept hybrid and electric vehicle production elsewhere. But the Santa Fe Hybrid is about to change that.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid will be the brand’s first electrified model made in the U.S.A.
Currently, Hyundai only has one manufacturing facility in the U.S. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, as it’s called, lies on 1744 acres of land in Montgomery, Alabama. And as of this writing, it produces four vehicles: the Santa Fe, Tucson, Elantra, and Santa Cruz. But up until now, the Santa Fe Hybrid, Tucson Hybrid, and Elantra Hybrid were made elsewhere.
This situation changes in October 2022, though. As part of its $7.4 billion investment into electrification and EVs, Hyundai is bringing Santa Fe Hybrid production to Alabama. So, in a few months, it’ll be the first electrified Hyundai made in the U.S. Also, Hyundai claims expanding the factory to accommodate the extra production will add 200 manufacturing jobs.
It’s worth noting that Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) production isn’t coming to the U.S.A. However, although the Santa Fe Hybrid will be the first electrified model with a Hyundai badge made in America, it won’t be the last. Nor will it be the only electric Hyundai Motor Company product made here. As it turns out, Genesis is coming to Alabama, too.
The electric Genesis GV70 will also join the Santa Fe Hybrid at the Montgomery plant
Last year, Hyundai’s luxury brand, Genesis, unveiled an electric version of the GV70 crossover, the Electrified GV70. Yes, the name is a bit of a mouthful, but as its first production EV, it’s a vital vehicle for Genesis. And Genesis is making it in the U.S.A.
This news comes from the same press conference wherein Hyundai Motor North America CEO Jose Muñoz announced the Santa Fe Hybrid’s U.S. production plans, Automotive News says. In addition to announcing the Hyundai-brand-specific news, Muñoz also confirmed that the Alabama factory will produce the Electrified GV70.
As of this writing, it’s unclear when the factory will start making the electric luxury crossover. However, previous estimates put the start of Electrified GV70 production somewhere around late 2022. Therefore, the Alabama plant will likely start making the electric Genesis at roughly the same time or slightly after it starts making Santa Fe Hybrids.
Will more Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis hybrid and EV production come to the U.S.?
As noted earlier, the Hyundai Motor Company invested a lot of money into EVs and hybrids recently. So, the Santa Fe Hybrid and Electrified GV70 likely won’t be the only electrified cars HMC makes in the U.S. However, it’s still too early to tell which ones would make it here.
In addition, although the Montgomery, Alabama plant is the only Hyundai-brand one here, it’s not the HMC’s only U.S. factory. Kia has a facility in West Point, Georgia that makes the K5 as well as the Sorento, Telluride, and as of February 2022, the Sportage crossover. Theoretically, the Georgia factory could make hybrids and EVs, too. It could even start with the Sportage Hybrid.
Regardless, starting in October 2022, you can buy an American-made Hyundai hybrid.
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