Samsung makes big automotive push

Samsung makes big automotive push

Samsung Electronics on Wednesday announced it will set up a new team specializing in automotive parts to speed up its expansion into the lucrative market in an era of electric mobility.

The plans were announced as part of the Korean tech giant’s annual business reshuffle that aims, among other things, to secure new growth engine businesses while restoring profitability in existing device sales.

Park Jong-hwan, senior vice president and head of chip card and microcontrollers team, will lead the new team under the control of Kwon Oh-hyun, one of the company’s three co-CEOs and the chip business chief.

“Our goal is elevating our capability in the field in a short term,” said a Samsung official. “We will focus on infotainment systems and self-driving cars in the early stage and then seek business synergies with other Samsung companies.”

Samsung’s big push for automotive parts came after its local rival LG Electronics has long poured resources into the area. LG launched a separate new team last year.

“With Hyundai Motor and LG strengthening their partnership, Samsung’s joining would offer a boon for Korea to lead futuristic automotive technologies,” said Shin Jung-gwan, a senior analyst at KB Securities.

Samsung, the sole battery supplier for BMW’s electric cars such as the i3 and i8, has expanded its presence in the automotive market. The company is a specialist especially in batteries and chips, key parts for futuristic autonomous cars.

Following a series of battery deals with global carmakers, the company recently agreed with Audi to supply automotive chips for the German luxury carmaker’s upcoming models.

Its rival LG is already a major force in the area. The company has secured an extensive partnership with diverse carmakers and chip manufacturers in recent years. Last month, LG, together with Hyundai Motor, Naver and KT, launched an alliance for the commercialization of driverless cars by 2030 in Korea.

“With the deal, LG has secured a big client Hyundai, the world’s fifth-largest carmaker. Samsung is likely to seek ties with European carmakers,” said Shin.

“Still, the entry barrier for car parts is higher than other industries. Samsung needs some time to see tangible results from the new business.”

On the day, Samsung also announced two new teams — audio and video business team into the visual display business division and mobile enhancing team into the mobile communications division.

The mobile enhancing team will develop wearable devices and accessories that can work paired with Samsung smartphones.

Following last week’s appointment of the new mobile chief Koh Dong-jin, the master mind behind Samsung Pay and KNOX, senior vice president Seo Byung-sam was named to lead the home appliance business division.

While individual business divisions gained a boost with fresh blood, Samsung reduced the size of its management support division that used to play a control tower role.

Source:http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151209001209


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