The two heirs of Samsung and Hyundai Motor will soon be sitting down to discuss future collaboration, most likely in the EV battery business, according to industry sources on May 13.
The meeting between Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun would market their first bilateral meeting. The time and venue has yet to be specified.
In addition, Hyundai Motor’s key executives including CEOs will be visiting the Cheonan facilities of Samsung SDI – the battery-making unit of Samsung, the sources said. Cheonan houses a pilot production line for next-generation EV batteries first created in 2017. Here, the visitors would be able to glimpse into the manufacturing process of the Gen-5 batteries.
Until now, Hyundai had not used Samsung’s EV batteries due to decades-old sour feelings triggered by Samsung’s entry into the car-making industry.
Should Hyundai decide to apply Samsung SDI’s batteries, all three local suppliers including LG Chem and SK Innovation would be supplying Korea’s largest carmaker. SK Innovation recently bagged a deal estimated to be worth 10 trillion won supplying Hyundai’s E-GMP platform over the next five years. The batteries would be enough to manufacture up to 500,000 cars.
Market watchers believe Samsung’s Lee would most likely try to sell lithium-ion batteries, and not the precursor batteries that Samsung SDI developed that are to be commercialized after 2025.
As the EV market competition intensifies, Hyundai has been looking for stable suppliers capable of providing quality goods. It considered building its own facilities or partnering overseas, but seems to have decided on Samsung SDI.
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