That American EV Plant Hyundai Plans To Build Might Be Coming To Georgia

Morning Dump Hyundai Seven

Hyundai has Georgia on its mind, new car dealers are hungry for high-mileage clappers, Ford deploys the F-150 Lightning to fleets. All this and more on today’s edition of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Hyundai Might Be Going Down To Georgia

Hyundai Ioniq Seven 2
Photo credit: Hyundai

Last month, Hyundai announced plans for an electric vehicle factory on American soil. Thanks to Reuters, we may know a bit more about where Hyundai might plan to build their new facility. According to Reuters, the Korean automaker has been in talks with officials in Georgia to manufacture EVs in the Peach State which honestly makes a lot of sense.

With Hyundai’s existing American assembly plant situated just one state west in Alabama, keeping minds and management close together would be a great way to promote communication. More importantly, Kia has an assembly plant in West Point, Ga. and there’s every possibility that Kia might also occupy this plant. Reuters’ sources claim that the Hyundai Ioniq 7 and Kia EV9 SUVs will both roll out of the same plant, an uncommon occurrence but not one without precedent. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Russia makes the Hyundai Solaris sedan (a rebadged Accent), Hyundai Creta subcompact crossover and Kia Rio subcompact car, while Kia slapped Hyundai badges on a few Sedona minivans rolling along the assembly line to make the Hyundai Entourage. Mind you, Georgia hasn’t yet been officially confirmed as the location for Hyundai’s new EV plant, so we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for updates.

New Car Dealers Are Clamoring For High-Mileage Cars

Car Dealership
Photo credit: “Row of Cars at a Car Dealership” by everycar_listed_photos is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

With new car production at a crawl and turnover of three-year-old off-lease cars low, an increasing number of new car dealers are re-thinking their used vehicle policies and buying clean but extensively-driven used cars for their used lot. Yep, the next 200,000-mile beater you find might be under a car brand’s giant sign.

Automotive news is reporting that giant franchised conglomerates are moving into the independent used car dealer’s domain of high-mileage vehicles for a variety of reasons. Aforementioned lack of newer supply aside, it’s worth mentioning that cars age so much better than they used to. Going back a few decades, a vehicle with more than 150,000 miles on the clock was usually a shitbox. Malaise-era 305 cubic inch Small block Chevrolet V8s would often wipe their cam lobes round within 100,000 miles, rust was pervasive and relentless, headliners would sag like clockwork and it was astonishing how many cars needed painting. Now though, a car with 200,000 miles on the clock should start first try, be in reasonably good nick and may even have working air conditioning. While these are desirable traits in any used car, franchised dealers turning onto trusty bangers is generally bad news for those of us who value Valvoline MaxLife, Jeep Liberty and the pursuit of clappiness.

Oh sure, there is a silver lining here. Some dealerships are willing to splash out thousands in reconditioning fees to bring high-mileage vehicles up to scratch. After mechanical repairs are completed, a round of paintless dent repair, a few fresh interior switches and a thorough detailing may be completed. The sort of cosmetic touches that people like you and I are procrastinating over right now. However, reconditioning costs drive up prices, and cheap usually beats pristine. However, we’re likely already at a turning point. Wholesale auction company Manheim keeps an index of used car wholesale values, and said index has declined another percentage point in April despite strong values of small and midsize cars. Hopefully the used car bubble slowly deflates as new car production gradually ramps up, although I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw somewhat elevated used car prices for several years.

Roving Off The Edge Of The Land

Land Rover Defender 110 V8
Photo credit: Land Rover

Whelp, after two years of exceedingly generic corporate social responsibility-themed ads, nature is healing and the fun police are back at it again. Metro UK is reporting that the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has pulled a television ad for the new Land Rover Defender over misleading use of parking sensors. I’m sorry, what? Yeah, the ASA claims that Land Rover’s use of parking sensor sound effects implies that a bit of beeping could prevent a driver from reversing off of a cliff. Let’s take a look at the actual ad and see what’s going on.

Ah yes, what’s actually pictured in the advert is a small pile of rocks that look quite climbable. While anyone with a brain would shrug off the parking sensor noises as a joke, plenty of people don’t have brains. Honestly, it kinda sucks that someone inserted the ultrasonic parking sensor sound effects. The rest of the ad’s cheeky in all the right agency-friendly ways, from the waterfall car wash to the traffic light for wild horses. Weirdly this overdubbing incident is throwing me back to the time when BMW threw screaming V10 noises onto a New Year’s 2021 video featuring their M2 sports coupe. How embarrassing that slip-up was. Anyway, I’m glad that the banned from TV Land Rover ad is still up on YouTube because it definitely holds a certain wanderlust.

Ford’s Fleet Focused

Lightning Job Site
Photo credit: Ford

When a new vehicle rolls onto the market, it’s typical to delay sales of entry-level and fleet trims to pump up initial margins. However, Ford knows that a huge chunk of F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck buyers are fleet customers, so the Dearborn-based carmaker is focusing accordingly. Darren Palmer, Ford’s vice president of electric vehicle programs, told Automotive News that one in five F-150 Lightnings rolling off the line right now is a fleet-spec Pro model. Not only is this an uncommon strategy in the EV sector, it’s also a brilliant one.

See, operating cost plays a huge role in business vehicle selection. As of right now, gas prices are through the roof, so a bit of EV relief would do small businesses a world of good. Pretty soon, carpenters and plumbers and other tradespeople will be rolling up to job sites in electric F-150s, saving on running costs while providing a massive marketing boost to the F-150 Lightning. See, people like it when a truck is shown doing real truck stuff. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a truck commercial that didn’t involve dirt, snow, mud, a trailer, stuff in the bed, or anything other than trying to fit into a single parking spot outside of Denny’s with a truck bed full of sailboat fuel? By putting the F-150 Lightning to work right away, Ford is letting its customers give the F-150 Lightning a rugged, dependable image. A brilliant play if you ask me.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on this issue of The Morning Dump. While Monday morning is stereotyped as a gloomy time, it’s also a great day to reflect on a weekend of car things. Whether you set a new personal best at the track or simply took your car down to the ice cream shop for a sweet treat on a warm Spring evening, I’d love to hear about the car stuff you got up to over the weekend.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit

38 Responses

  1. Only got something for the dump. We had another successful monthly cruise in that I host. It was an uphill battle for over a year after losing our big meet ( due to some assholes during COVID lockdown). Finally with the Mayors approval and all permits signed we gained a huge well lit, and well seen spot and we routinely see well over 120+ vehicles! Games for kids and giveaways, along with venders and food trucks. Had a great time as usual and can’t wait till June’s cruise in.

      1. Well yeah, GA is a right-to-work state with tons of cheap labor and cheap land and a government willing to bend over for any business. It makes perfect sense.
        Also Savannah is a big port for cars.

    1. Curious, what about GA is it that you do not like? A former colleague retired up to Big Canoe after living in CT and he seems to be quite happy. I visited his family up there and briefly kicked around the idea of purchasing a vacation home on Lake Lanier but have only visited Atlanta and a few other parts for work.

    2. I live in the Dirty South, and have lived in Georgia before. Lived in Dallas as a toddler, I think I was six or so when we moved. But later, my parents bought a house in Jasper and begged me to come and stay to see how I liked it. I didn’t. I started calling it JackAssper. Example: Very first outing in my vehicle after arriving, some bitch tried to pull an insurance scam on me. I guess a ~10 year old Ford Taurus screams “I’m loaded and ripe for the picking”? Then after the lady at the McDonald’s drive-thru apparently set the headset down and walked away during my order, I was like, ya know, I don’t think this is my kinda place.

      The best things to come out of Atlanta/Georgia were that 1993 (sold with almost 300k) and my current 1995 (still running great at 250k+) Tauruses.

  2. Not quite car-related, but I finished uograding the electrical system in our vintage ’66 Aristocrat trailer. It now has dual batteries, an inverter, a really trick battery monitor, and a solar charging system. I wasn’t really able to see what the solar panels could do because it was pouring rain all weekend, but the system is installed and everything works.

  3. Thumbs up to Ford’s F-150 Lightning sales strategy. As a former Ford salesperson, clients were often frustrated when initial build percentages drastically limited entry level models on new designs.

  4. Wasted all damn weekend resurrecting a dead battery. Said battery was dead because the dealer who installed it, did it wrong. Found both terminals just barely past finger tight. So I wasted a fuckton of gas at 2200RPM for zero charging.
    Angry does not begin to describe my reaction.
    Especially as I specifically need a non-AGM in a size that is currently near impossible to find in wet cell.

    This also kept me from going to look at not one, but two unicorns I am actively trying to buy.
    Look, I’ve just accepted I cannot own any car they made more than 2,000 of, and the suffering that comes with it. At least if I limit it to color combinations, it’s somewhat tolerable. (We’re going to ignore that my ‘high watermark’ right now is more like 1,000 copies.)

    Add to that, a friend tested positive for COVID. Thankfully I haven’t hung out with them in a long while. (You know what I mean there.) But he’s not far off the boat I’m in. So this may cancel even more summer plans.

    Oh, and in addition to Meta not only putting in a company-wide hiring freeze and rescinding offers (no, seriously); Uber this morning announced a total freeze, impending layoffs, and an intent to make everyone not a board bro take a pay cut; Apple’s basically told employees “we don’t give a fuck about what you want, either you come back into the office, or we’ll have a thousand applicants we can pay less than you by tomorrow”; Netflix we already know is a charnel house; and strong indications Amazon and Google have implemented silent slowdowns if not outright freezes.
    Shit is about to go seriously sideways, again.

  5. I’m actually okay with the Land Rover ad being pulled (and they should fix it by just removing the beeps since the ad still works without them). When I first saw that commercial I actually wondered if they had somehow added dropoff detection to their parking sensors. Sure, most people aren’t backup up to 1000 foot cliffs, but we do periodically see stories where someone backed over an especially large curb in a parking lot and got stuck. It’s not the craziest idea for a feature, so I could see that being confusing.

  6. Ya mean my 215k mile 10 year old compact fuel sipping car might be an in-demand item? That’s hilarious. They weren’t 10 years ago when I bought it. Heck, the dealer gave me a decent deal to move the stick shift lot poison to get a more lease-friendly automatic in its place.

  7. Being old I go back to the Nylon Timing Gear years of GM which were a godsend. In the early to mid 70’s you could buy nice but poorly running GM car for around $600..swap out the timing gear and be good to go.

  8. While traveling to and from a wedding this weekend, I got to drive a 10-mile stretch of Hwy 30 in TN. The road features significant elevation gains and losses, sections of continuous “s-turns,” and multiple 15-mph switch backs. It was a fun addition to the festivities.

  9. Not much. Drove the Chevy pickup around the yard hauling debris (we’re almost finished cleaning off a long-overgrown corner of our property, so far we have found a pecan tree, some hickory trees and some very, very old bricks and flower bulbs from a homestead long gone, kinda neat as our street was named after its original owner), and I drove the Mustang to my parents to give mom a mother’s day gift, also stopped by to give my friend a birthday gift.

    Plan on taking the Chevy back to the shop sometime this week to get the carburetor sorted out…again. I may go EFI eventually on this thing. I’m a “set-it-and-forget-it” kinda guy, I guess, basic maintenance notwithstanding.

        1. Which is ironic, because Georgia is absolutely the state that would physically drag Ray Charles from a car so they could ‘teach him his place’ with a length of rope and a tree.

Leave a Reply