Samsung SDI is aiming to foster suppliers of material, components and equipment for long-term partnerships as well as finding new suppliers, multiple people familiar with the matter told TheElec.
In the past, the South Korean battery maker rotated its supply line for the same parts, they said, but it is now opting to procure each essential part from one supplier.
But as the electric vehicle battery market is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade, Samsung SDI now wants to increase the quality of the parts it procures from suppliers and form a stable ecosystem in the back-end, they said.
The company will also strengthen the role of Samsung SDI Partnership Association (SSP), a group of around 30 companies out of the company’s a thousand suppliers that are designated official partners.
With long-term partnerships, the company can cut unit prices while the suppliers can secure a stable customer.
In 2020, Samsung SDI has made a 5 billion won equity investment in Philenergy, while forming a joint venture with cathode maker EcoPro BM.
Last year, it began procuring certain essential equipment from exclusive suppliers.
For electrode equipment, it procured them from Hanwha while for notching equipment it uses PNT. For battery assembly equipment, Samsung SDI only uses Hana Technology and MOT.
Both Hana Technology and MOT had supplied cab welding equipment together but Samsung SDI is now using MOT exclusively for the kits.
The company is planning to form joint ventures or make equity investments in these companies if need be, the people said.