Continental Considers Ending Lithium-Ion Battery Joint Venture With SK Innovation

DEC 12 2014 BY MARK KANE 8

SK Continental E-motion offer

SK Continental E-motion offer

Continental CFO Wolfgang Schaefe recently stated in a telephone interview that its partnership with South Korean lithium-ion battery manufacturer SK Innovation could come to an end by the end of this year.

Both companies established a joint venture seeking a place in the automotive market, but as it turns out demand is lower than expected (for EVs and all kinds of hybrids).

Wolfgang Schaefer commented:

“The market for battery cells is less attractive than we thought two to three years ago.”

For now, Continental wrote down 77.9 million euros ($97.4 million) of the venture’s value in the third quarter.

This is just part of a planned 270 million euro investment by Continental and SK Innovation over five years in the joint venture.

Source: Automotive News

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8 Comments on "Continental Considers Ending Lithium-Ion Battery Joint Venture With SK Innovation"

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“The market for battery cells is less attractive than we thought two to three years ago.”

Huh? Another example of execs not understanding exponential growth?

EV’s and plugin hybrid sales have almost grown by 100% per year. If that is disappointing, what were they expecting?

Perhaps it is only their cells that lack a customer although the Kia Soul EV appears to do well with the SK cells…

Yes, the whole world is wrong and conspiring against EVs. So much, that they invested and wrote down $77 million only to make their statement heard.
Only the adulated CEO of a specific EV company is speaking the truth, and seeing the light of hope coming through the dark fumes of cheap oil.

Dark vador couldn’t say any better!

Why isn’t Mitsubishi knocking on their door?

Or vice versa?

Perhaps they priced their batteries too high, causing automakers to choose other, cheaper alternatives?

Or maybe their batteries aren’t as good, also leading them to other companies with a better track record?

Or they probably wanted the kind of growth today that’ll likely happen in the next few years when the Gigafactory is up and running. And then when it didn’t materialize due to higher cost of EV’s right now, they felt it’s better to cut their losses early?

Just speculating. Hopefully they don’t kick themselves later if EV’s do suddenly take off in a few years and they missed the boat.

Unfortunate. I think this was the best alternative to LG Chem.