Samsung SDI will build battery plant in U.S.

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Samsung SDI will build battery plant in U.S.

Samsung SDI confirmed plans to build its first electric vehicle battery plant in the United States during a conference call with analysts Tuesday.
 
Of the country’s three major battery makers, Samsung SDI was the only one that had not confirmed a plan to build a U.S.-based plant.  
 
“The United States has the third largest electric car market in the world,” said Michael Son, senior vice president for Samsung SDI’s strategic marketing team, on the call. “We will not be late in entering the market.”  
 
Son added that battery demand in the United States is projected to grow faster than expected “as the Biden administration is bolstering investment in infrastructure in line with its eco-friendly policies.”    
 
It was almost inevitable for the company to start producing in the United States because of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the revised North American Free Trade Agreement that took effect last July. It requires at least 75 percent of car's components to be manufactured in North America to be exempted from tariffs.
 
According to Son, electric cars and their major components need to be produced in America from 2025 under the trade deal.  
 
Among Samsung SDI's competitors, LG Energy Solution is building battery plants in Ohio and Tennessee, each with a capacity of 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh), after establishing a joint venture with GM in 2019. SK Innovation established a joint venture with Ford in May and announced a plan to build battery plants totaling 60GWh capacity in the U.S.  
 
For Samsung SDI, there have been reports suggesting it might team up with Stellantis to build a plant in the United States. Stellantis was formed in 2021 in a merger between Italian-American auto group Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French PSA Group.  
 
Meanwhile, Samsung SDI reported a 288.3 billion won ($251.5 million) net profit for the second quarter of this year, up by a whopping 504.4 percent on-year. The company reported 3.3 trillion won in sales, up 30.3 percent, a record quarterly sales figure.  
 

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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