Samsung SDI losing ground in the battery market for US electric cars

Recent industry data shows that Samsung SDI – the conglomerate’s battery-making arm – is losing ground in the electric car market of the United States. It accounted for 23 percent of this market combined with LG Chem in May this year, that’s a 12 percent decline from 35 percent in April. During this time, Japanese battery makers saw their market share rise from 65 percent to 87 percent. No wonder Samsung SDI is projected to post another loss this quarter.

The top-selling electric cars of the month all had batteries supplied by Japanese companies with the exception of the BMW i3 which uses batteries from Samsung SDI. Panasonic remains a dominant player in the US electric car battery market as it supplies batteries for Tesla Model S, Model X, the Nissan Leaf, and the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. Samsung SDI stock surged recently on rumors that it was closing a deal with Tesla to provide the company with battery cells for its electric cars only to have nearly $600 million wiped from its market cap when Tesla CEO Elon Musk refuted the reports and reiterated that Tesla will continue to work exclusively with Panasonic.

Industry watchers expect things to get better for Korean battery makers in the second half of this year as more cars with batteries from Korean companies are going to hit the roads, this includes new cars from the likes of General Motors, BMW, and Hyundai.

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