Whether the future of transportation is electric isn’t a question of “if” so much as “how”. The latter is what Samsung and Hyundai Motor Group continue to ponder as part of a still-unofficial effort that could turn South Korea into an even larger automotive force over the next several decades. Following a May meeting between Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and Hyundai Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun, the duo is expected to continue strategy talks by early next week, according to Thursday reports from the Far East.
Both companies previously denied a concrete collaboration, but repeated meetings clearly centered on car battery development suggest one to be in the works, analysts believe.
Still no solid partnership for solid-state batteries
Lee is now said to be heading for Hyundai’s R&D institute in Hwaseong, located in the immediate vicinity of the nation’s capital. The visit is said to be scheduled for Tuesday, with industry watchers interpreting it as a direct follow-up to Chung’s tour of Samsung SDI’s equivalent facility in Cheonan. Solid-state batteries are likely to be the focus of the happening, as was the case this spring.
Over the past several years, Samsung repeatedly denied the notion of becoming a full-fledged automaker. With how the South Korean economy is largely tied to chaebols, a small number of family-run conglomerates, it’s not hard to believe those enterprises wouldn’t be keen to step on one another’s toes. Regardless, the future of the Exynos Auto initiative is somewhat unclear if Samsung isn’t going to partner with the largest automaker in the region, which is why these repeated leadership meetings are interpreted as having only one realistic outcome – large-scale collaboration.