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Samsung SDI, Stellantis to form battery joint venture in US Lee Jae-yong and John Elkann's friendship and Biden's visit worked

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2022-06-13 08:01:49

이 기사는 2022년 06월 13일 07:59 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korea’s Samsung SDI and Stellantis N.V.’s announcement that they have executed binding, definitive agreements to establish an electric-vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facility in Kokomo, Indiana, U.S. was made thanks to solid relationship between Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong and Stellantis chairman John Elkann alongside U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Samsung Electronics’ Pyeongtaek campus.

Stellantis is a multinational automotive manufacturing corporation formed in 2021 on the basis of a 50-50 cross-border merger between the Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the French PSA Group. Its brands include Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and others. Stellantis is the world's fourth largest automaker behind Volkswagen, Toyota and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, with a global market share of 9-10%.

Exor is the single largest shareholder in Stellantis with a 14.4% stake. Exor is a Dutch holding company incorporated in Netherlands controlled by influential Italian business dynasty Agnelli family through privately held company Giovanni Agnelli B.V. John Elkann, Gianni Agnelli's grandson, is chief executive officer of Exor and chairman of Stellantis.

When Elkann visited Korea in 2010, Lee invited him to Samsung Electronics building in Seocho-gu, Seoul, to have lunch together. They are of similar age and heirs to conglomerates that represent their countries, so they have maintained a close friendship.

Elkann requested Lee to join Exor’s board in 2012. The appointment was finalized in May 2012, and renewed for a three-year term in 2015. In April 2017, Lee was dropped from the board as he was facing trial for his alleged involvement in an influence peddling scandal surrounding former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

In October 2021, Stellantis and Samsung SDI announced that their companies have entered into a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture to produce battery cells and modules for North America. Stellantis is boosting production of plug-in hybrids but has lagged some competitors in launching battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the U.S.

Samsung SDI needed to join hands with Stellantis to produce battery cells and modules for North America as its Korean rivals including LG Energy Solution and SK On already have joint ventures with GM and Ford respectively.

Biden after touring chip complex of Samsung Electronics on the first day of his arrival for his recent state visit to South Korea said Samsung was working with Stellantis to produce batteries for EVs in the U.S. in a joint venture.

“Investments like these are going to help catapult us forward toward a clean energy future, which we both badly need, advancing our shared economic growth, our energy security, and our climate goals,” he said. (Reporting by Choong-hee Won)
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