- SK Continental E-motion closes transaction and starts operations in January 2013
- Continental and SK Innovation to jointly develop, produce and distribute lithium-ion battery systems
- Access to broad expertise of parent companies paves the way for global market leadership
At the beginning of this year, SK Continental E-motion closed the transaction and officially started operations following the approval of the relevant authorities. The company, which was established by SK Innovation, Seoul (South Korea), and Continental, Hanover (Germany) will jointly develop, produce and distribute lithium-ion based battery systems for cars and light commercial vehicles. All relevant authorities have given unrestricted approval to the antitrust application submitted by the two companies. All provisions of the agreement signed on July 23, 2012 came into force on completion of the approval process.
“Bringing together the capabilities of both companies opens up completely new options for the future of mobility. SK Continental E-motion’s battery systems will be among the most advanced designs in the global automotive market,” said Ja Young Koo, President & CEO of SK Innovation. “The synergies generated by Continental’s extensive systems expertise and automotive engineering skills together with SKI’s technological leadership in battery cells and separators will enable us to make SK Continental E-motion one of the world’s leading suppliers of battery systems,” added Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of Continental’s executive board.
SK Innovation has a 51 percent stake in the new company while Continental owns 49 percent. Both Continental and SK Innovation plan to invest about 270 million Euros in SK Continental E-motion for the next five years. The business strategies of SK Innovation and Continental will not be affected by their joint management of this new venture and both companies will continue to supply their customers in the automotive industry with their complete product range. SK Continental E-motion started working on initial development programs in the 48V mild hybrid segment as well as for commercial vehicle applications.
The company is headed by Robert Lee as chief executive officer (CEO), former SK Innovation and the position of chief financial officer (CFO) is held by Marcus Heinemann, former Continental. Initially, SK Continental E-motion will employ around 220 people worldwide, sourced in almost equal proportions from the two partner companies. The venture, which is managed operationally from Berlin, began operations on January 2, 2013. The fully integrated teams will work on a global development footprint based at locations in Berlin, Germany and Daejeon, Korea.
Hybridization and electrification are becoming increasingly important in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, and batteries are a key component in this technology field. SK Continental E-motion will provide the latest lithium-ion battery technology to help international vehicle manufacturers to introduce electric drivetrains around the world. The company benefits from the skills of the technology leaders behind it, such as SK Innovation’s in-depth expertise in the development of battery cells and separators. For its part, international automotive supplier Continental has extensive experience in battery-related electronics and complete battery systems as well as their integration into vehicles.