KG Mobility, formerly known as Ssangyong Motor, has clinched a deal with China-based electric vehicle maker BYD to set up a new EV battery pack manufacturing plant and develop a hybrid car system in Korea.
KG Mobility Chairman Gwak Jae-sun, KG Mobility CEO Chung Yong-won, BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu, BYD subsidiary FinDreams Battery Chairman He Long and other executives from the two companies participated in the signing ceremony held at BYD's headquarters in Shenzhen, China on Wednesday.
“The company plans to build a battery pack production base with BYD in its unused facilities in the Changwon engine plant in South Gyeongsang Province,” a KG Mobility official told The Korea Herald.
The official added that the new plant is expected to become operational before late 2024.
The battery packs made in Korea will be installed in KG Mobility’s Torres EVX -- an all-electric model of its bestselling midsized sport utility vehicle -- as well as the electric pickup O100 and future car lineups.
The Torres EVX, which was launched in Korea in September, is already equipped with BYD batteries produced in China. To reduce shipping costs, KG Mobility is looking to use battery packs manufactured in Changwon once it sells its existing stock of EVs.
KG Mobility and BYD will also advance their partnership on the next-generation hybrid car system, which will power the Korean carmaker’s hybrid car lineups, starting with the upcoming hybrid version of the Torres, which is scheduled to be launched in 2025.
The two companies, who recently reshuffled their research and development units to boost the hybrid car business, also plan to jointly develop plug-in hybrid cars
“Our partnership with BYD will be a stepping stone for KG Mobility to make the pivot to eco-friendly cars including the Torres EVX, the KR100 and the F100, and to introduce an all-new EV platform,” said Gwak, in a statement. “The battery pack (made in Korea) will guarantee the cars’ safety and performance.”
Chung said in a statement that the hybrid car business tie-up is meaningful in securing a stable supply chain of key car parts and a competitive edge in electric cars and electronic technologies.