Hyundai Heavy Industries is venturing into the lithium-ion battery market for electric cars, hoping to bask in the soaring demand for long-range, environmentally friendly next-generation vehicles.
The world’s largest shipyard said it clinched an agreement Monday with Canadian auto parts maker Magna E-Car Systems to launch a $200 million joint venture. The Korean company would take a 40 percent stake and the Ontario-based firm the remainder.
Magna E-Car is another partnership between Magna International Inc. and the Stronach Group, a private company owned by Frank Stronach, who founded North America’s top car parts supplier. Magna E-Car supplies the powertrain to Ford Motor Co. for the plug-in version of its Ford Focus.
Under the plan, Hyundai Heavy and Magna E-Car will carry out joint research and set up a production line in the Canadian province, aiming to churn out 1,000 battery packs annually starting 2014.
The shipbuilder added it will further boost its output to 400,000 by 2018 and 800,000 by 2020 by building an additional eight plants in Europe and North America. It targets a 30 percent share in the electric car market in the regions by 2020.
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