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South Korea’s top battery makers enjoy steady growth

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South Korea’s Electric Vehicle Battery Trio – LG, Samsung, and SK – enjoyed steady growth in the January to March period, according to a report by SNE Reseach.

Amid intense competition in global EV battery deployment, LG Energy Solution ranked 2nd, while Samsung SDI and SK Innovation captured the 5th and 6th spots respectively.

Global competition for the world’s top spot for the xEV (EV, PHEV, HEV) battery market is getting fiercer, with CATL continued to top for both Mar 2021 and Jan-Mar 2021. LG Energy Solution came in 2nd, while Samsung SDI and SK Innovation ranked 5th and 6th respectively.

The Korea’s EV battery trio set to record another strong quarter Q1. With major Chinese EV battery makers seek to expand the scale of the battery manufacturing business, South Korea’s battery majors – LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation – continue to show solid growth.

In Jan-Mar 2021, a total of 47.8 GWh of battery capacity was deployed globally into newly sold EVs, an increase of 127 percent year-over-year. The global EV market started to recover in the second half of 2020, and the recovery continues to gain traction in 2021.

The Chinese EV battery makers are poised to lead the market – CATL topped the market, with BYD came in 4th and CALB captured the 7th spot. The Chinese companies are taking an increasing market share by expanding their business outside their home ground.

A significant triple-digit growth is seen among the major Chinese EV battery makers.

Even though Panasonic, which ranked 3rd, is likely to remain robust based on its partnership with Tesla, Japanese battery makers overall suffered from a decrease in market share. The average sales growth of most Japanese battery makers has been below the market average.

The Korea’s EV battery trio has witnessed a drop in the combined market share, signifying a growth rate below the market average.

LG Energy Solution retained the 2nd place in the same period last year, with a supply of 9.8 GWh, indicating a growth of 89.3 percent.

Samsung SDI slipped one spot to the 5th place, with a supply of 2.5 GWh, indicating a growth of 57.2 percent.

SK Innovation remained in the 6th place, indicating a growth of 108.6 percent.

The consistent growth of the three Korean battery makers was boosted by brisk sales of EV models equipped with the batteries they manufactured.

LG Energy Solution was accelerated by strong sales of Tesla Model Y (made in China), Volkswagen ID.3, and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Samsung SDI’s growth was driven by the increased sales of Audi E-tron EV and Fiat 500. SK Innovation was boosted by favorable sales of Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV (Europe).

In Mar 2021, the global EV battery market recorded a 2.5 times growth year-over-year, with 22.1 GWh of battery capacity deployed globally in newly sold EVs. The onslaught of Covid-19 saw automakers suffer a difficult first half of 2020.

Market demand, which had shrunk due to Covid-19, continued to recover for the ninth month in all regions, including China, US, and Europe. Major EV battery makers in China had enjoyed a significant triple-digit growth, leading the overall market growth.

With EV battery technology undergoing swift changes and a rising competition under way, the Korean battery makers seem to be backing out due to Chinese players.

With CATL at the head, Chinese battery makers are eating up the global market at an alarming rate and will likely trigger fiercer competition in the EV battery market in the near future.

Accordingly, attention is on how South Korea’s battery majors – LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation – are to develop competitive edge to pioneer in the market.

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