South Korean auto parts manufacturer PHA has announced plans to expand its presence in the US by opening production facilities in Chatham County, Georgia.

The new facility will produce door modules, tailgate latches and hood latches for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, which is located in neighbouring Bryan County. PHA’s operations will be located at the Savannah Chatham Manufacturing Center and are expected to commence in 2024.

PHA is a tier-one automotive parts supplier for Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia as well as other OEMs. It was established in 1995 and is headquartered in Daegu. It now has operations across eight different countries in Asia, North America and Europe, according to its corporate website.

Its existing US facilities are in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and Montgomery, Alabama.

Global competition in the automotive sector, particularly for site location for the production of electric vehicles (EVs), is increasing. Research by GlobalData shows that North America’s EV share of the global market peaked in 2019 at 23.8% but fell to around 10% in 2022 as China and Europe increased capacity.

Increased investment is expected however, particularly by US companies, in an attempt to gain a greater share from market leader China. Investments in the US by parts manufacturers such as PHA demonstrate confidence in future growth for the US automotive market.

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“We are excited to welcome PHA to Georgia as the second Hyundai supplier at the Savannah Chatham Manufacturing Center,” said Pat Wilson, commissioner for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Projects such as Hyundai and its suppliers underscore the importance of site preparation to attract jobs and [the] opportunities [it can offer] to a community.”