Will Samsung make cars again? – Asia News NetworkAsia News Network – asianews.network

August 1, 2022 by No Comments

August 1, 2022

SEOUL – “Will Samsung make cars again?” is a decades-old question that has haunted the tech giant since the sell-off of its automotive business to France’s Renault Group during the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.

Samsung has seen success in almost every sector it set sights on, but making and selling its own brand cars have remained a rare failure for the nation’s largest conglomerate.

Despite repeated denials by the top brass, speculation has resurfaced about Samsung’s car business, especially at times of automotive breakthroughs. More recently, fueling the speculation is the booming market for electric vehicles.

Global carmakers are rushing to ditch combustion engines for its new car launches. Tech companies like Apple, Google and Sony are also jumping onto the bandwagon in hopes of becoming first movers in future mobility from EVs to connected driving to ultimately autonomous driving.

Samsung is no exception. Over the past decades, Samsung companies like Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electro-Mechanics have greatly expanded their presence in the ever-evolving automotive industry, supplying key parts to a slew of carmakers, including Tesla, the world’s largest EV maker.

According to news reports, they have also recently launched a task force to bolster its readiness for the fast-growing EV market.

“As the electric car market grows up, electronic companies would not end up playing the role of a component supplier,” said Kim Pil-soo, an automotive engineering professor at Daelim University.

“Instead, they would be able to maximize profits by jumping into the automotive manufacturing industry, as long as they are ready to relish the opportunity.”

A visual concept image of Harman’s in-vehicle infotainment solutions (Harman International)

The automotive industry used to be a market where barriers to entry were higher than others due to strict technological requirements for driving performance and safety. But with EVs cementing its place in the industry, the hurdles have continued to be lowered, opening the door wider to tech firms.

Given batteries can represent up to 50 percent of the production cost of EVs, Samsung has already secured a competitive edge over rivals through its battery-making unit Samsung SDI.

The upcoming Apple Car, which is scheduled to make a debut in 2025, could speed up its Korean archrival’s new car launch, Kim added.

“Once Apple Car begins to roam the streets, that will be when electronic giants begin to clash with each other with cars, not smartphones,” he said.

Kwon Yong-joo, an automotive and transportation design professor at Kookmin University, said that in the long run, structural changes across industries surrounding electric mobility would eventually prompt Samsung to make cars.

Marketability, profitability and safety would be the three key considerations, he said.

“The time when cars are recognized as electronic gadgets would be the timing for Samsung to produce cars,” he said. “Profitability is also key because many of its clients would replace suppliers if Samsung starts producing its own cars. Samsung has to make huge investments as it is losing revenue sources.”

“Autonomous driving is expected to greatly improve driving safety. But it remains to be seen whether the mass-market adoption of autonomous driving will be possible when urbanization is getting more severe in major cities.”

Experts say the time may be ripe for Samsung to consider making cars again but they also …….

Source: https://asianews.network/will-samsung-make-cars-again/

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