Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery producers are losing market share to Chinese competitors.
According to a report released by the market researcher SNE Research on June 5, LG Chem shipped batteries totaling 1.671 GWh in the first four months of 2018, up 38.9% from the same period a year ago.
Yet the company’s global market share dropped from 13.8 percent in 2017 to 10.6 percent this year. Its global ranking also fell from second to 4th place.
Samsung SDI’s global ranking went up by one notch from 7th in 2017 to 6th place in 2018 as the company’s battery shipments increased 47.1 percent to 879 MWh in the January-April period. Yet the company’s market share also decreased from 6.8 percent in 2017 to 5.6 percent.
In contrast, shipments from Chinese companies increased explosively. CATL’s output grew 261.1% from 630 MWh in the previous year to 2.274 GWh this year, with its ranking jumping from fourth to second place. Likewise, Chinese maker BYD also increased shipments 180.6% to 1.735GWh, rising from fifth to third place.
Japan's Panasonic, a long-time number one player, managed to keep its position, but its market share plummeted. Panasonic’s shipments totaled 3.330 GWh in the first four months of the year, up 21.5 percent. Its market share, however, fell from 31.4 percent to 21.1 percent.
AESC, another Japanese battery producer, trailed LG Chem with shipments of 1.173 GWh, an 80 percent growth from a year ago. The company’s ranking fell from third to fifth place but its market share remained almost unchanged at 7.4 percent.
SNE Research said that Chinese battery makers continued to grow strongly thanks to a surge in sales of electric buses and trucks in China this year. In fact, five Chinese companies made the Top 10 in both the January-April period and the month of April.
"LG Chem and Samsung SDI suffered a loss in market share because of massive offensives from Chinese companies," the report said, adding that this trend is expected to continue for the time being.
According to the KOTRA, sales of electric cars in China ballooned to 569,000 in 2017 from 14,600 in 2013.