Tesla Motors, the world’s number one electric vehicle maker, is preparing to land in the Korean market. The company held an IR session on November 18 at the Korea Institute of Financial Investment located in Yeouido and expressed its high interest in the Asian market, including Korea.
There, Vice President for Investor Relations Jeffrey Evanson said, “We have high long-term interest in the Korean market, and we are focusing on Samsung SDI as a supplier of high-quality EV batteries.”
Financial industry sources are considering that the company’s visit to Korea at this time is to attract investment from Korean pension funds and asset management companies in the wake of the recent fire accidents of the Model S caused by their batteries that have resulted in a stock price plummet.
In fact, the IR manager paid a visit to the National Pension Fund, Korea Investment Corporation, Mirae Asset Global Investments, Korea Investment Management, and so on prior to the session for some presentations and Q&A. Tesla has recently opened retail stores in China, Japan, Australia, and the like to kick off product marketing.
Is Partnership with Korean Manufacturers on the Horizon?
At present, Tesla is procuring batteries from Panasonic. CEO Elon Musk has recently said that the company would produce EV batteries on its own to increase its annual production volume to half a million units, causing Korean battery manufacturers’ stock prices to drop.
Still, Tesla is expected to diversify its battery supply sources due to the fire accidents caused by collisions between the Model S and fallen objects. The US authorities have launched an in-depth investigation and the company’s stock price has plunged significantly.
The market shares of Samsung SDI and LG Chem are at around 28.0% and 17.5%, respectively. Industry insiders are paying attention to whether or not they will make partners of Tesla at this time. It is quite unprecedented that the NASDAQ-listed company holds an IR session in Korea before being listed on the Korean stock market.