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CEOs of SK On, Mercedes-Benz discuss EV partnership in Seoul

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : Aug. 23, 2023 - 17:45

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SK Group Executive Vice Chairman Chey Jae-won (right) and Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group pose for a photo during their meeting in Seoul on Wednesday. (SK Group) SK Group Executive Vice Chairman Chey Jae-won (right) and Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group pose for a photo during their meeting in Seoul on Wednesday. (SK Group)

Chey Jae-won, executive vice chairman of SK Group and co-chief of its battery-making arm SK On, met with Germany luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius to discuss ways to strengthen business cooperation in the electric vehicle sector, the energy-to-chip conglomerate said Wednesday.

Chey and Kallenius discussed various cooperation plans on electric vehicle products and services, including battery supply and Tmap, the SK-made navigation service widely used across Korea, the SK Group officials said.

"The Mercedes-Benz Group has been a long-time business partner and a major customer of SK Group,” Chey said during the meeting held earlier in the day at the group’s headquarters in central Seoul. “We hope that Kallenius’ latest visit will be an opportunity for the two firms to expand the partnership.”

Lee Jong-ho, CEO of Tmap Mobility, the operator of Tmap, also attended Wednesday's meeting. The mobile navigation service provider has agreed to provide real-time traffic information and supply auto navigation feature to Mercedes-Benz vehicles that will be released here starting next year.

Earlier in February, Mercedes-Benz announced its partnerships with Tmap Mobility for its global mobility map business in Korea, and with Google for the North American and European markets.

The German automaker was looking to realize its own branded navigation experience based on new in-car data and navigation capabilities by joining hands with global partners.

Tmap Mobility will also seek various cooperation expansions with the German carmaker in the promising software-defined vehicles market. An SDV refers to a vehicle that manages its operations, adds functionality and enables new features primarily or entirely through software.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz CEO is reportedly leaving Korea on Thursday after speaking about the carmaker’s electrification and sustainability strategies to the local media on the same day.