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Samsung, Hyundai Motor heirs set to discuss cooperation in mobility biz


Heirs of South Korea's top two conglomerates -- Samsung and Hyundai Motor -- will discuss possible cooperation in the electric vehicle (EV) and mobility businesses, the groups said Tuesday.

Lee Jae-yong, Samsung's de facto leader, shared his views on future mobility solutions with Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun following his visit to the automaker's Namyang Research & Development Center in Hwaseong, south of Seoul. 

Lee was accompanied by Samsung Electronics' chip business chief Kim Ki-nam, Samsung SDI CEO Jun Young-hyun and Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology head Hwang Sung-woo.

They reportedly exchanged ideas with Hyundai officials on the automaker's urban air mobility (UAM) strategy and robotics technology. Samsung executives also inspected Hyundai's autonomous driving vehicles and hydrogen-powered cars in development, industry sources said.

Lee's visit comes two months after Chung made a trip to Samsung SDI Co.'s EV battery plant in Cheonan, 90 kilometers south of Seoul, where the two moguls discussed battery technology in regard to the EV business.

Samsung SDI is a Samsung subsidiary that manufactures EV and smartphone batteries.

Industry insiders said the latest meeting will be a good opportunity for the two to seek collaboration in the fast-growing mobility sector. 

Hyundai is seeking to sell more than 1 million EVs and take a market share of at least 10 percent by 2025.

To achieve its goals, South Korea's largest automotive group plans to roll out its next-generation EV with EV-only platform next year that can drive up to 450 kilometers on a single charge.

Samsung has been trying to boost its presence in the automotive parts sector with its competitiveness in semiconductor manufacturing.

In 2017, Samsung acquired Harman International Industries Inc. to tap deeper into the automotive market.

Last week, Lee visited electronics components maker Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. to check its automotive multi layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs).

Samsung believes its network and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can also play important roles in the mobility business.

Chung has been opening doors to collaboration with local conglomerates. He recently met with LG Group chief Koo Kwang-mo and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won to discuss cooperation. Both LG and SK have EV battery makers under their wings. (Yonhap)