Samsung SDI Co., a battery making unit of South Korea’s largest conglomerate Samsung Group, will spend $62 million to expand its electric vehicle battery pack factory in the United States, becoming the latest to join its rivals in a race to expand electric vehicle battery business.
According to multiple industry sources on Thursday, Samsung SDI America Inc. decided to invest $62 million to add its automotive battery pack manufacturing facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the United States. The latest investment comes as the Korean company aims to boost electric car battery pack business of Magna International, a leading global automotive supplier that was acquired by Samsung SDI in 2015, the Korean company said.
Samsung SDI did not disclose detailed plans on the facility investment, but the expanded facility would create about 400 new jobs in the region.
For the expansion, Samsung SDI is expected to receive $10 million worth subsidy from the State of Michigan, home to General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. whose demand for electric vehicle batteries has been growing.
With the latest EV battery factory investment, Samsung SDI has become the latest Korean battery major to expand its overseas battery facilities to meet growing demand for electric vehicles worldwide.
On Wednesday, LG Chem announced plans to invest 651.3 billion won ($581.7 million) in its wholly-owned subsidiary in Poland to expand production facility of electric car batteries, while SK Innovation said it will spend 1.14 trillion won to build an electric vehicle battery plant in Georgia, the United States, with 9.8 gigawatt-hour capacity.
Industry insiders expected that on top of the latest investment decision in its U.S. battery factory, Samsung SDI would soon announce another plan to invest several hundreds of billions of won in battery business, following suit of industry rivals LG Chem and SK Innovation.
By Lee Sang-duk and Lee Eun-joo
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