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Tesla, KT partnership talks fail: report

[THE INVESTOR] Partnership talks between Tesla Motors and KT, the nation’s No. 2 telecom carrier, may have failed ahead of the carmaker’s planned entry into the Korean market in November.

According to Asia Economy Daily on Sept. 5, the two firms recently failed to narrow differences on specific deal conditions.

“It seems difficult for them to resume the talks,” an unnamed source was quoted as saying by the local news daily. 


Tesla’s first Korea showroom under wraps at Starfield Hanam, Gyeonggi Province
Tesla’s first Korea showroom under wraps at Starfield Hanam, Gyeonggi Province


KT declined to confirm the failed talks, citing sensitivity of the issue.

KT has long been cited as Tesla’s Korean partner that would provide internet connectivity for its Model S and Model X electric vehicles here. The carmaker has partnered with local telecom carriers such as AT&T in the US and Spain’s Telefonica and Sweden’s TeliaSonera in Europe.

A gigantic 17-inch display screen on the center console is a key feature of Tesla cars. The device supports phone calls, navigation, shopping and gaming via wireless internet.

Tesla, which established its Korean branch in November last year, plans to open its first showroom at Starfield Hanam, Shinsegae Group’s new shopping complex in Hanam, Gyeonggi Province, in November.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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