Conti battery JV firm enters operation
The joint venture lithium-ion battery systems company formed by Continental and Korea’s SK Innovation, SK Continental E-motion, officially commenced operations earlier this month after gaining approval from the relevant authorities. Continental reports that “all relevant authorities have given unrestricted approval to the antitrust application submitted by the two companies” and that all provisions of the agreement signed with SK Innovation on 23 July 2012 have come into force.
“Bringing together the capabilities of both companies opens up completely new options for the future of mobility. SK Continental E-motion’s battery systems will be among the most advanced designs in the global automotive market,” said Ja Young Koo, president & CEO of SK Innovation. Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of Continental’s executive board, added “The synergies generated by Continental’s extensive systems expertise and automotive engineering skills together with SKI’s technological leadership in battery cells and separators will enable us to make SK Continental E-motion one of the world’s leading suppliers of battery systems.”
SK Innovation has a 51 per cent stake in the new company while Continental owns 49 per cent. Both companies plan to invest about 270 million euros in SK Continental E-motion for the next five years. The joint venture firm has begun work on initial development programmes in the 48V mild hybrid segment as well as for commercial vehicle applications. SK Continental E-motion is headed by former SK Innovation man Robert Lee, who holds the position of chief financial officer, while Marcus Heinemann joins the company from Continental as chief financial officer. Initially, SK Continental E-motion will employ around 220 people worldwide, sourced in almost equal proportions from the two partner companies. The integrated teams will work on a global development footprint based at locations in Berlin, Germany and Daejeon, Korea.