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S. Korean EV battery makers underperform rivals in 2018

All News 09:27 January 04, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery makers performed poorly in the world market in 2018 compared to their Japanese and Chinese rivals, a report showed Friday.

Global shipments of EV battery products came to 76,950 megawatt-hours (MWh) in the first 11 months of last year, up a whopping 72.8 percent from a year earlier, according to SNE Research, a market researcher on renewable energy.

Shipments of LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's top chemical firm, rose 42.2 percent on-year to 6,183 MWh, ranking fourth in the world. But its market share dropped to 8 percent from 9.8 percent.

Sales of Samsung SDI Co., a unit of top conglomerate Samsung Group, rose around 26 percent to 2,731 MWh, but its world ranking fell one spot to sixth. Its market share also dipped to 3.5 percent from 4.9 percent.

In contrast, Japanese and Chinese companies posted stellar performances, making the top three list.

Samsung SDI Co.'s electric vehicle battery (Yonhap)

Japanese player Panasonic's global shipments spiked 113 percent on-year to 17,606 MWh during the January-November period.

Chinese EV battery manufacturer CATL came second with 16,176 MWh, a 111 percent increase on-year, followed by BYD of China with 9,359 MWh, a 105.2 percent increase.

Among the top eight global sellers, LG Chem and Samsung SDI were the only companies that failed to post triple-digit growth rates during the period, according to SNE Research.

In particular, Chinese and Japanese EV battery firms made strides in November, while South Korean companies didn't post impressive performances, the market tracker said.

Market watchers said leading Chinese EV battery firms have overtaken South Korean rivals as they have secured advanced technologies amid state support.

The global EV battery market has been on a roll as carmakers around the world have been racing to go electric amid tougher rules on greenhouse gas emissions.

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