|The heads of Korea's top four conglomerates are seen ahead of a New Year's meeting of business leaders and representatives from various fields, hosted by President Moon Jae-in in Seoul on Jan. 2, 2020. Third from left is SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, followed by LG Group chief Koo Kwang-mo, Chung Eui-sun, then executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong. Yonhap|
By Kim Yoo-chul
Hyundai Motor Group's aggressive push to float an all-new vehicle production platform ― E-GMP ― looks set to boost share prices of Samsung SDI, SK Innovation (SKI) and LG Chem as the country's top-three battery producers are set to supply each of their tailored products for the vehicle.
According to local reports, Samsung SDI and SKI could be chosen as the primary battery suppliers for Hyundai's dedicated electric vehicle E-GMP platform. If the deal is completed, then this would mark the opening of the "strategic collaboration" between Hyundai Motor Group and Samsung in the futuristic EV business.
Samsung SDI ended with 671,000 won, up 6.85 percent from the previous trading session, Monday. SKI soared 21.58 percent to end at 231,000 won per ordinary share, while LG Chem spiked 7.89 percent at 889,000 won, according to the data by the Korea Exchange (KRX), the country's main bourse operator.
Since last year, Hyundai Motor has been on track to develop its new E-GMP platform with the hope that the platform would underpin the forthcoming Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models. Vehicles based on this platform will offer over 500 kilometers range per charge. Hyundai earlier said all of its three such vehicle models have up to 23 EVs planned for release by 2025.
Battery makers estimate the total monetary value to be a whopping 25 trillion won based on Hyundai's shift to adopt its first bespoke EV architecture and the fact that the item is set to underpin vehicles of varying sizes from sedans, hatchbacks to SUVs.
"But it is very unlikely for Hyundai to choose one single company as its E-GMP battery supplier because of high package volume. That means Hyundai is set to diversify its battery sourcing channel. With LG Energy Solution, SKI is also set to win contracts from Hyundai because SKI has volume strengths and is one of the few battery manufacturers that can guarantee on-time delivery and competitive pricing," one official familiar with the issue said, Monday, adding Samsung SDI would possibly be the other beneficiary.
Earlier, Hyundai chose SKI as the first-notch battery supplier of its E-GMP architecture for the Ioniq-5, followed by LG Energy Solution and China's CATL as the second-notch suppliers for the Ioniq-6, the deal amount of which was 10 trillion won and 16 trillion won, each round.
Regarding the specifics, senior Samsung SDI executives declined to comment as the company normally doesn't do so on issues that are client-related. LG Energy Solution also declined to elaborate.
Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong met with Hyundai Chairman Chung Euisun, then Hyundai EVC, two times last year. The meetings raised the possibility that the two conglomerates may expand their businesses focusing on vehicle semiconductors and batteries, two segments the firm hasn't explored before.
One interesting point is that Hyundai's E-GMP initiatives would help battery materials providers such as Dongwha Enterprise because top battery pack manufacturers have to procure necessary components from battery parts suppliers. Dongwha has been maintaining a solid partnership with SDI and SKI after it acquired a lithium-ion battery materials supplier, now named Dongwha Electrolyte.