BMW plans to spend more than 2 billion euros (about 2.5919 trillion won) on purchasing auto components from Korean companies next year, up 30 percent from this year.
“We will significantly increase our purchase of auto components from Korean partners including Samsung SDI and SK Telecom,” said Pieter Nota in charge of BMW AG's customer, brands and sales operations during a news conference held at the BMW Driving Center in Yeongjongdo, Incheon on Nov. 27.
As a way to increase its purchase of auto parts from Korean partners, BMW has signed a contract with SK Telecom for T Map-based next-generation navigation services for its cars to be released in Korea. BMW is the first foreign automaker that has decided to install Korean navigation systems in its cars during their production for Korean customers. However, the time to apply the Korean navigation and the name of the navigation has not been decided yet.
In addition, BMW Group plans to cooperate with SK Telecom to provide a connected car service in Korea. The group also announced on Nov. 20 that it signed a contract with Samsung SDI for the supply of fifth-generation battery cells worth 2.9 billion euros (about 3.7762 trillion won) for 10 years from 2021 to 2031.
BMW will also expand its investment in the Korean market. The company plans to raise the number of local employees at its R&D center in Korea from 16 to 29. Furthermore, the current R&D center located in the BMW Driving Center in Yeongjongdo will be expanded and relocated to a new site. The new center will include test facilities for product development, tests and validation activities. It will also be geared toward widening research areas to encompass battery cell technology, material research and charging technology for electric vehicles.
“We will make business decisions based on respect for Korean customers and make various efforts to satisfy them,” said Pieter Nota. Nicolas Peter in charge of BMW's finance division said, “Korea is the largest and important market for our group. The Korean market ranks ninth in terms of overseas sales and ranks first or second in overseas sales of the 5 Series alone.”