Hyundai and Kia announce $3.1-billion investment in US facilities

Update: A US spokesperson for Hyundai had no further information, but called the reports about the automaker's investments accurate.

Hyundai and Kia announced this morning a plan to invest $3.1 billion into its US facilities over the next five years. According to Automotive News, the new investment is a 50-percent increase over what Korea's two largest automakers have brought to the US in the last five years.

The automakers already have several large-scale manufacturing bases in the US, but the new investment could bring another plant into the fold. There is the possibility of producing a Genesis product in the US or building a new plant for a US-specific crossover.

The announcement is the latest US investment plan as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office Friday. Trump has singled out automakers for not building cars in the United States, and Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler all announced plans to invest in the US since the beginning of January. Skeptics say these moves would have to be years in the making, though Trump has been quick to take credit for them.

Not all of the new money will go toward building new plants. Hyundai and Kia could simply expand the already busy plants in Montgomery, AL, and West Point, GA. Beyond that. The automakers could further their research into electric and autonomous vehicles.

Like many other automakers, the two Korean giants have backed down from planned expansions into Mexican manufacturing. Although many automakers currently build or were planning to build new vehicles in Mexico, threats of importation fees appear to be causing caused automakers to refocus some of their efforts toward US production. With all this new investment in the US, Kia and Hyundai said there will be no jobs moved to Mexico. Meanwhile, this morning GM announced plans to bring truck axle manufacturing back from Mexico.

As with all of the recent announcements, Hyundai and Kia stated that Trump's upcoming presidency played no part in the decision to reinvest in the US.

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