Hyundai Motor, South Korea's largest carmaker, says it will increase its investment in the US by 50 per cent over the next five years, to $3.1bn, as it seeks to capitalize on pledges by President-elect Donald Trump to boost the American economy.
The announcement comes just three days before the swearing-in of Mr Trump, who has threatened to slap hefty taxes on Mexican-built vehicles imported into the US.
Hyundai denied that the investment was a response to an intensifying Twitter assault by Mr Trump on global automakers for producing cars and investing in Mexico rather than in the US, but rather a reflection of the importance of the US market.
"We expect a boost in the US economy and increased demand for various models as president-elect Trump follows through on his promise to create 1m jobs in five years," Chung Jin-haeng, president of Hyundai Motor, told reporters in Seoul on Tuesday.
The company, and its affiliate Kia Motors — which together rank as the world's fifth-largest carmaker by sales — join a growing list of automakers to announce investments in the US in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, Japanese car group Toyota announced it would sink $10bn into the US market. That came hot on the heels of an announcement by Ford that it would cancel a planned $1.6bn plant in Mexico and instead build the facility in Michigan.