Korea-based SK Innovation and Germany-based Continental Corporation signed a Heads of Agreement at the Detroit Auto Show that describes the formation of a joint venture with which both companies will develop, manufacture and market Lithium-ion battery systems for automotive applications.
SK Innovation and Continental will have 51% and 49% of ownership respectively. The initial JV operations will be based in Germany and Korea; the management team will consist of executives from both companies. The business will serve automotive OEMs globally.
The new joint venture is subject to the completion of JV agreements, which are expected to be achieved by midyear 2012.
SK Innovation will supply Li-ion battery cells to the JV while Continental will supply Battery Management Electronics and its overall automotive systems competence. The newly formed entity will bring together experience in developing battery systems for Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and Electric Vehicle (EV) programs at leading automobile manufacturers worldwide.
Founded in 1962 as Korea’s first oil refiner, SK Innovation is a global energy and petrochemical company with sales of US$38.5 billion in 2010. Based on its R&D capabilities, SK Innovation is focusing on lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, I/E (Information Electronic) materials for IT devices, and E&P (Exploration & Production) business, while its subsidiary companies, SK Energy (Nº 1 refining company in Korea), SK Global Chemical (global top-tier chemical company) and SK Lubricants (global leader in the high-tech & hi-end lubricant market), are running business through their own vision and strategy. SK Innovation established the lithium ion battery business in 1996 and currently supplies leading global automobile manufacturers including Daimler and Hyundai.