Samsung refutes rumors of buying a car manufacturer

Samsung has addressed recent rumors which suggested that the company might enter the automotive business as a player. It currently makes technological components for cars that are used by many manufacturers. The rumors suggested that Samsung would actually get into the business of making cars by acquiring a manufacturer. The company has denied it, saying it has no plans to do something like that.

The rumors stemmed from a recent announcement by the company that it would invest over $160 billion in four key future growth areas. The automotive components business is one of those areas. It somehow ended up being perceived as a hint that Samsung is thinking about acquiring a car manufacturer to sell its own electric and self-driving cars.

Samsung not buying a car manufacturer

Some of you will be aware that Samsung did enter the automobile business almost two decades ago. Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee launched a vehicle manufacturing unit called Samsung Motors back in 1994 but the business went bankrupt after the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis. The unit was later acquired by Renault in 2000.

Samsung’s investment plans had led to speculation that perhaps it was seeking a return to the business and may look to acquire an existing manufacturer for that purpose. Samsung has confirmed in a message to its workers that it has no plans of doing that and won’t be manufacturing its own electric and self-driving cars.

It will continue to focus on developing displays and chips for a self-driving control system as part of its existing automotive components business. The timely denial might be to avoid sending a wrong signal to global car manufacturers many of which Samsung counts as its customers. They purchase different components from Samsung and its subsidiary Harman International and would have been concerned if one of their suppliers decided to compete with them in the market.

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