Published on May 25th, 2015 | by James Ayre2
Samsung SDI Has Begun Operations At Former Magna Steyr Battery Pack Plant
May 25th, 2015 by James Ayre
Operations have now officially begun at Samsung SDI’s most recently acquired battery pack factory, according to recent reports.
The new Samsung SDI Battery Systems (SDIBS) plant in Graz, Austria, comes from the company’s acquisition of the battery pack business of Magna Steyr (something that I reported on at the time, back in February 2015). The acquisition was for the entire business, not just the facility — all 264 existing employees, business contracts and contacts, and all production and development sites came along with deal.
With the recent official opening of the Samsung SDI Battery Systems Operations in Graz, the company seems to be gearing up for the widely predicted explosion of the electric vehicle battery market over the coming years (something that other companies are gearing up for as well, Tesla with its Gigafactory being the most obvious example).
As it stands, the overall global market for electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and conventional hybrids is expected to surge to 7.7 million vehicles by 2020, according to the market research firm IHS. Considering that the market currently stands at 2.1 million vehicles worldwide, that prediction represents a potentially huge transformation of the total market — no doubt why Samsung SDI is eager to set itself up well to take advantage of the boom times.
“The opening of SDIBS is a key step towards becoming the leading automotive battery system supplier,” stated Namseong Cho, President and CEO of Samsung SDI, at the opening ceremony. “Samsung SDI will integrate SDIBS’ capabilities in battery pack systems, with its superior cell technology to create world class automotive battery systems.”
With such modest goals, one can only wish them the best of luck. There will clearly be some stiff competition, though, as Tesla’s Gigafactory will, for one, be up and running soon (presumably).