China's CATL forms S.Korean branch for battery supply to Hyundai Motor

Asian Tech Press (Nov 17) -- Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), a leading Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery maker, has reportedly set up a branch in South Korea to support the supply of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries to Hyundai Motor Group.

The news of CATL building its Korean unit was first reported by Korean industry media outlet on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter. And the report said the unit in South Korea is the Chinese battery maker's fifth overseas branch, following Japan, Germany, the United States and France.

People familiar with the matter said CATL's new branch will have one regional manager and two employees at the beginning of its establishment. As business develops, its Korean branch is expected to have more employees. The sources also revealed that the office of CATL Korea is located in Seoul's Gangnam District.

LG Energy Solution, which was spun off from LG Chem's battery business, is a major global supplier of EV batteries, and is already supplying General Motors Co (GM:NYSE), Tesla Inc. and Hyundai Motor, as well as SK On and Samsung SDI.

The report also said CATL's opening of a branch in South Korea may also be related to its customer Hyundai Motor. Sources revealed that it has set up a branch in South Korea to support the supply of LFP batteries to the leading South Korean automaker.

As a major global supplier of EV batteries, CATL has also received orders from Hyundai Motor. In February this year, Korean media outlets reported that the Chinese EV maker was selected by Hyundai Motor as the supplier for the third batch of batteries after getting the second batch of battery orders from Hyundai. LG Energy Solution and SK On, respectively, are the suppliers of Hyundai Motor's second and third batches of batteries.

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