South Korea’s Samsung SDI buys into electric vehicle battery market

Samsung SDI expands into EV battery
South Korea’s Samsung SDI has moved into the electric vehicle battery market with the acquisition of an Austrian battery pack manufacturer

South Korean energy storage solutions and electronic materials company Samsung SDI has officially taken over a battery-making facility in Graz, Austria.

In February 2015, Samsung SDI acquired the battery pack business of Magna International, a global automative supplier, in a bid to boost the company’s strength in batteries for electric vehicles.

Under the acquisition, Samsung SDI bought the entire battery pack business from Magna Steyr, an Austria-based operating unit of Magna International, including all 264 employees, production and development sites and existing business contracts.

The company also plans to use Magna’s existing presence in the automative market to grow a customer base in the fast-growing automotive battery markets of Europe, North America and China, said Namseong Cho, president and CEO of Samsung SDI.

Electric vehicles sales forecast

The global market for electric vehicles, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, is forecast to reach 7.7 million vehicles by 2020, compared with 2.1 million in 2014, according to research companies B3 and IHS.

Samsung SDI’s products include small-sized lithium-ion batteries, automotive batteries, energy storage systems, materials for semiconductors and displays, plastic for electronic devices and vehicles, as well as artificial marble.