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Automaker Stellantis partners with South Korean battery makers

By Kim Hye-ran & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
Automaker Stellantis partners with South Korean battery makers
Shown above is a Jeep vehicle, owned by Stellantis. The world’s No. 4 automaker is partnering with South Korean battery makers to tap into the electric vehicle market. Photo courtesy of Stellantis Korea

SEOUL, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Stellantis, the world's fourth-largest automaker, is teaming up with South Korean battery makers to strengthen its footing in the electric vehicle market.

LG Energy Solution, South Korea's leading battery manufacturer, said Monday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Stellantis to build factories with a capacity of 40GWh in the United States.

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The Seoul-based company said it will start to build the new facilities during the second quarter of next year to roll out battery cells and modules for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico markets in early 2024.

Toward that end, the two corporations are reviewing the location of the battery plants.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French PSA Group merged this year to form Stellantis. It owns brands including Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, Peugeot and Citroen.

"LG Energy Solution will position itself as a provider of battery solutions to our prospective customers in the region by utilizing our collective, unique technical skills and mass-producing capabilities," LG Energy Solution CEO Kim Jong-hyun said in a statement.

South Korean news outlets reported this week that LG's cross-city rival Samsung SDI will also build a joint venture with Stellantis to produce electric vehicle batteries for North America.

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Samsung SDI, the affiliate of Samsung Electronics, refused to confirm the reports.

Samsung SDI operates battery plants in South Korea, China and Hungary and supplies its products to automotive companies including Ford Motor and BMW.

"Stellantis is a latecomer in the electric vehicle market. Although it was somewhat late in the competition, the company appears to be catching up with its rivals through proactive partnerships," Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo told UPI News Korea.

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The share price of Samsung SDI fell 0.55 percent Thursday. LG Energy Solution is preparing for an initial public offering.

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