South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co said on Tuesday it had finalized a $5 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery joint venture in the U.S., as it reported first-quarter net profit had more than doubled, exceeding expectations. Hyundai and partner SK On, a battery unit of SK Innovation Co Ltd, will set up a new battery manufacturing plant in the state of Georgia, the companies said, formalizing an earlier provisional agreement. The move follows new U.S. requirements for 50% of the value of EV battery components to be produced or assembled in North America for car buyers to qualify for a $3,750 credit. The U.S. is Hyundai’s largest market for sales. The new plant is expected to start manufacturing battery cells in the second half of 2025 with an annual production capacity of 35 GWh, which is sufficient to support the production of 300,000 EVs. Hyundai reported a net profit of 3.3 trillion won ($2.47 billion) for the January-March period versus a profit of 1.6 trillion won a year earlier, thanks to a rise in vehicle output as a global chip shortage eased and demand for its high-margin sport-utility vehicles remained strong. That compared with a Retinitis Smart Estimate for first-quarter profit of 2.3 trillion won from 16 analysts, and sent shares up as much as 3.4% after the results were released, reversing earlier losses.
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