Sweden-based vehicle manufacturer Volvo Car Group will join hands with South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. to develop future vehicles such as self-driving and electric cars with an aim to expand its presence in the burgeoning new-generation vehicle market.
Volvo is most likely to establish a strategic partnership with LG Electronics to co-develop key technologies from an early stage rather than simply receive related components from the Korean tech giant.
According to multiple industry sources on Friday, Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Car Group, visited LG Electronics’ campus in Cheongna, Incheon, where the company’s vehicle components division is located. Samuelsson, who arrived in Seoul on Wednesday, met with Lee Woo-jong, chief executive and president of vehicle components division at LG Electronics and toured around the campus and research and development facilities.
Industry observers believe there is a great chance of Volvo and LG Electronics working together in the field of future cars. An unnamed industry official said that LG Electronics is not yet much equipped with high technology when it comes to self-driving vehicles, and establishing a strategic partnership with Volvo would allow both companies to be in a win-win situation.
Volvo plans to launch an all-electric vehicle in 2019 with a range of 500 kilometers or more on a full charge. It is pinning on LG to become its electronics pillar. Moreover, LG Chem is a leader in electric vehicle battery technology.
Observers note that Volvo has selected LG Electronics as its development partner because it has proven technical skills. LG Electronics has been mass-producing and supplying 11 key components and systems including driving motors and inverter battery packs to General Motors Co.’s full electric vehicle Chevrolet Bolt since August. Bolt, driving 383 kilometers on full charge, is gaining industry attention as it is competitively priced at $30,000 per unit and has a long driving range.
Key management officials at Volvo’s parent company Zhejiang Geely Holding of China also met with LG Chairman Koo Bon-moo last month and visited the company’s vehicle component division in Incheon.
By Lee Seung-hoon and Park Chang-young
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]