Seoul– Automaker Kia will build a new electric vehicle (EV) plant in northern Mexico, a Mexican governor said on Tuesday.

While he did not elaborate on the details, like what models will be manufactured in a new plant, the governor uploaded a photo of Kia’s EV9 SUV. He originally said an estimated investment could reach around $1 billion but later deleted the part from the post.

“More good news! Nuevo Leon consolidates as the ELECTROMOBILITY HUB: KIA once again bets on Nuevo Leon with an investment to expand its plant and produce two KIA car models,” Samuel Garcia, governor of the northeast state of Nuevo Leon, tweeted earlier in the day.

He was in Seoul for an international forum seeking cooperation between South Korea and Latin America, reports Yonhap news agency.

Kia said it was considering the issue with a mid- to long-term perspective, but that nothing has been fixed yet.

In 2016, Kia opened a 3 million-square-foot plant in Pesqueria, near Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, which also houses education and testing centers. The plant is believed to produce two models — the K3 sedan and the subcompact Pride — and manufacture 400,000 units a year.

A new EV plant, which is expected to be built near the existing facility, will allow Kia to become eligible for federal subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which gives up to $7,500 in tax credits to buyers of EVs assembled in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Hyundai Motor, its smaller affiliate Kia and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. said last month they will collectively make an investment of 24 trillion won (US$17.9 billion) to become the world’s No. 3 EV maker in terms of sales by 2030.

Hyundai Motor and Kia aim to sell around 2 million and 1.6 million all-electric vehicles, respectively, by that year. (IANS)