Samsung Group’s de facto leader Lee Jae-yong on Tuesday officially met Hyundai Motor Group’s Vice Chairman Chung Euisun for the second time this year to discuss further business partnerships on the development of future mobility technologies and solutions. This time, South Korea’s two biggest conglomerates met at Hyundai and Kia Motors’ R&D Center in Namyang, Gyeonggi Province.
The meeting comes after Hyundai’s Executive Vice Chairman Chung’s visit to Samsung SDI’s Cheonan battery plant last May to check Samsung’s development on its solid-state battery solutions.
Constructed in 1995, Hyundai’s Namyang R&D Center is the largest hub for future mobility technologies in South Korea. The facility develops automobile technologies and tests Hyundai’s latest vehicles. Currently, the R&D Center employs over 14,000 engineers.
During the visit, Samsung’s top executives accompanied Lee, including Hwang Sung-woo, president of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Jun Young-hyun, CEO of Samsung SDI, Kang In-yup, Kim Ki-nam, the vice-chairman of the semiconductor division, and Kang In-yup, president of System LSI.
Lee, along with Samsung’s ranking officials, test-drove one of Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles under development and rode in a self-driving car, after which the group had lunch with Chung.
A Samsung official said that Samsung’s executives listened on presentations of Hyundai’s future technologies and solutions related to self-driving technology, robotics, electric vehicles (EVs), and urban air mobility (UAM) sectors.
Future Mobility Business Expansion
As vehicles increasingly shift to becoming electric and smart, industry experts interpret the meetings as having significant implications in the future mobility industry. The meeting also raised the market’s speculations of Samsung’s role in the growing automotive industry.
In 2016, Samsung acquired Harman International, a U.S.-based infotainment business, strengthening its expansion into the automotive parts business.
Currently, Samsung has been enhancing its 5G-powered technologies and even predicted to commercialize 6G telecommunications by 2030.
Meanwhile, in the past two months, Hyundai Motor’s Chung visited chiefs Koo Kwang-mo of LG Group and Chey Tae-won of SK Group as it expands its partnerships with EV battery makers. Recently, Chung announced that the company aims to sell 1 million EVs and introduce 23 EV models by 2025. Hyundai would also lead the “Green New Deal” proposed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.