Samsung SDI in South Korea plans to build US battery cell factory
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Samsung SDI Co may build a battery cell plant in the United States to support the auto industry’s switch to electrification, a company source told Reuters on Thursday having in-depth knowledge of the file.
Samsung SDI, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, is in talks with automakers including Stellantis, Amazon and the Ford Motor-backed electric vehicle startup Rivian to supply batteries made at its potential plant in the United States, the source said. .
South Korean battery maker plans to invest at least 3 trillion won ($ 2.62 billion) to make batteries for Stellantis and a minimum of 1,000 billion won for batteries in Rivian, according to the source .
The source added that Samsung SDI has yet to decide whether it will launch the US plant as a joint venture with automakers or as an independent manufacturing site.
The source said the decision to build in the United States reflects changes to the tariff rules of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which went into effect last year, replacing the Free Agreement. -North American Trade 1994 (NAFTA).
The USMCA requires vehicles to have 75% North American content against a 62.5% threshold under NAFTA in order to avoid tariffs.
“We have reviewed our expansion in the United States, but nothing has been decided yet,” said a spokesperson for Samsung SDI, adding that the company could not release details of discussions with customers.
Samsung SDI has electric vehicle battery factories in South Korea, China and Hungary, which supply customers such as BMW, Ford, Volvo and Volkswagen.
Samsung SDI’s domestic rivals LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation Co Ltd announced separate plans to manufacture EV battery cells in the United States
Created in January from the merger of the Italian-American group Fiat Chrysler and the French PSA, Stellantis has battery plant projects in France and Germany, both in joint venture with a subsidiary of TotalEnergies.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Stellantis was making progress in finalizing an agreement to build a battery plant in Italy.
The automaker has said it will make a decision on additional battery factories in Europe and the United States this year.
In April, Rivian said Samsung SDI would supply battery cells for its vehicles.
($ 1 = 1,144.15 earned)
Report by Heekyong Yang; Edited by Christian Schmollinger