Georgia Governor Lobbies for Bigger Hyundai Plant

The governor of the U.S. state of Georgia, Nathan Deal, met Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo in Seoul on Wednesday, the automaker said Thursday. Hyundai did not say what they discussed, but the governor apparently wants Hyundai to expand its plant in his state.

Deal's request comes as Hyundai and affiliate Kia told unionized workers here that they intend to deal with frequent strikes by relocating more production abroad.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (left) meets Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo at the automaker’s headquarters in Yangjae, Seoul in October, 2011. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (left) meets Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo at the automaker’s headquarters in Yangjae, Seoul in October, 2011.

Kia's plant in Georgia is operating at full capacity and struggling to meet rising orders.

Hyundai built an automotive plant in Montgomery, Alabama in 2005 capable of producing 300,000 vehicles a year. In 2009, Kia built a plant in neighboring West Point, Georgia with the same capacity.

"We are seeing some lobbying to expand production facilities from the southern U.S.," said a Hyundai staffer. "They come at a time when overseas production lines need to be expanded due to strikes here."

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 23, 2013 11:29 KST