Competition is heating up among Korea’s top four business groups -- Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK, and LG -- to preempt the "e-mobility" market.
SK Innovation, a major affiliate of SK Group, said on July 27 that it was discussing cooperation with various business partners to expand its electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing business to other areas including leasing, charging, recycling and energy management. "We will create new value by cooperating with OEM partners and service providers," said Kim Joon, president of SK Innovation.
SK Innovation is presenting a new business model by expanding manufacturing to services through joint ventures or acquisitions. In addition, the company announced that it would develop new markets by applying EV batteries to electric aircraft, ships, and robots, and develop various downstream businesses such as virtual power plants and energy management systems (EMS) based on energy storage systems (ESS).
SK Group affiliates have been investing in a wide array of e-mobility projects, including SK Telecom's 5G autonomous vehicle business and investment in Grab, a car hailing service in Singapore, since SK Hynix launched the Automotive Strategy Team in 2016. Industry experts say that the group’s strategy is aimed at making a "fundamental change" emphasized by group chairman Chey Tae-won.
Samsung, Hyundai Motor and LG groups have also chosen e-mobility as a new growth engine and have been investing in it. Samsung Electronics has picked electronic devices for automobiles as one of its four major growth business items. It has been investing in semiconductors for automobiles, infortainment systems for vehicles, EV batteries and security. The company’s strategy is to build an e-mobility platform by expanding its expertise in hardware to software.
Hyundai Motor Co. is also pushing boundaries to enter the e-mobility business. The company is determined to go beyond its traditional vehicle manufacturing business to embrace such emerging businesses as software for autonomous vehicles and vehicle sharing services. It is baldly transforming itself from a finished car manufacturer to a company that provides total e-mobility solutions.
LG Group is also developing a variety of business items ranging from electronic devices for automobiles to lightweight materials by combining the capabilities of LG Electronics, LG Display, LG Chem, LG Innotek and LG Hausys. Besides, LG U+ is developing the 5G-based autonomous navigation platform business. The group is creating total solutions for future car parts.
Meanwhile, a Samjong KPMG survey of 907 auto industry executives from 43 countries around the world in 2018 said respondents cited hydrogen electric vehicles, connectivity, and electric vehicles as the key trends that would shape the automotive industry by 2025.