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Samsung heir checks on automotive MLCC biz in Busan

Samsung Electronics’ Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (center) inspects the company’s manufacturing facility for automotive multilayer ceramic capacitors in Busan on Thursday. (Samsung Electronics)
Samsung Electronics’ Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (center) inspects the company’s manufacturing facility for automotive multilayer ceramic capacitors in Busan on Thursday. (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Thursday visited Samsung Electro-Mechanics’ manufacturing facility for automotive multilayer ceramic capacitors located in Busan as part of the latest parade of on-site management.

It marked the first visit by the Samsung heir since the factory began operation in 2018.

Samsung Electro-Mechanics is an affiliate that supplies MLCCs for many of Samsung’s electronic products and camera modules for Galaxy smartphones.

MLCC is an essential part of electronics and controls electric currents to flow at stable levels, supply needed amounts of power for chips, and removes noise inside products.

While the global MLCC market is forecast to grow from 16 trillion ($13.3 billion) won this year to 20 trillion won by 2024, the automotive MLCC sector is projected to expand its share from 29 percent to 35 percent during the period, showed data by KB Investment & Securities.

Samsung is the world‘s second largest MLCC provider after Japan‘s Murata Manufacturing.

The affiliate has been accelerating efforts to expand the MLCC business to the automotive sector by ramping up production. It is building another plant in Tianjin, China.

The company on Sunday announced it has developed five new MLCC products for automobiles.

“The vice chairman checked on the affiliate’s MLCC business at a time of growing demand for electric and autonomous vehicles in the era of 5G and AI,” a Samsung official said.

Lee ordered the top executives of Samsung Electro-Mechanics, including CEO Kyung Kye-hyun, to respond quickly to the rising demand for MLCCs.

“The pace of change is getting faster,” Lee said. “We should lead the innovation at the forefront. We cannot settle on the present, or fear change. Let’s not be daunted by uncertainty, and continue to take on challenges.“

Lee held a meeting with the top brass of the affiliate on new investment in June.

The visit to Busan was the seventh on-site management by Lee this year, despite lingering legal risks involving the heir.

The prosecutors are expected to decide soon on the indictment of the Samsung heir on charges of spearheading the controversial merger and acquisition between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in 2015 and the vice chairman’s involvement in the accounting fraud at Samsung Biologics.

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)
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