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Samsung, BMW to partner on batteries, software

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 29, 2012 - 17:03

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Samsung president Lee Jae-yong in Germany to meet executives at BMW, Siemens


Samsung Electronics Co. will partner with BMW to combine more of its technology with the German vehicles’ battery and in-car software, Samsung said on Wednesday.

A team of Samsung executives led by CEO Lee Jae-yong left for Munchen earlier in the day for a series of meeting with counterparts at BMW and Siemens, including Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW, according to Samsung.

“COO Lee had a meeting with Dr. Reithofer and both companies agreed to extend collaboration on car batteries and infotainment system, “said Rhee In-yong, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics.

The move extends Samsung’s 2009 collaboration with BMW on lithium-ion battery cells. BMW chose Samsung as its only supplier of battery cells for Megacity Vehicle project making electric vehicles.

“The alliance would be an up-shot for both companies in that German carmaker’s in-car software can be improved by the world’s No. 1 chip maker. It could bring in new business for Samsung,” Ahn Se-hwan, an auto analyst at IBK Securities said.

Lee is accompanied by Park Sang-jin, CEO of Samsung SDI, and Lee Jin-gun, president of SB LiMotive.

Samsung also has an agreement with Toyota to create Samsung Car Mode Application, a solution embedding smartphone applications to Toyota’s in-car infotainment system. The two plans to commence commercialization in the second quarter of this year, according to reports.

BMW has unveiled a series of electric vehicles at auto shows under its “I” brand, including the i3 and i8 concept cars at the North American premier at the Los Angeles Auto show in November. It unveiled its latest electric vehicle Active E based on BMW 1 Series Coupe on Feb. 13.

By Cynthia J. Kim (cynthiak@heraldcorp.com)