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Home » SK On, EcoPro hit by falling EV demand as Ford delays launch of new models

SK On, EcoPro hit by falling EV demand as Ford delays launch of new models

Canadian federal and provincial government officials and representatives of SK On, Ford Motor and EcoPro BM break ground on the site for the three companies' joint cathode materials plant in the Canadian province of Quebec in this August 2023 file photo. Courtesy of EcoPro BM

Ford Motor’s repeated delays in electric vehicle (EV) production have affected the U.S. carmaker’s Korean partners, which have been seeking to expand in the North American battery market, according to industry officials, Monday.Late last month, EcoPro BM said it postponed its 118 billion won ($87 million) investment in EcoCAM Canada, one of the Korean firm’s subsidiaries in the North American country. The company was initially supposed to make the investment by March 29 to build a cathode materials plant in North America, but the plan was put off to Dec. 31.The Korean cathode materials producer made the announcement about a week before Ford said Thursday (local time) that it would retime the launch of its three-row electric SUV at the Ontario plant in Canada to 2027 from 2025 and customer deliveries of electric trucks at the Tennessee plant in the U.S. to 2026 from 2025.Against this backdrop, the beginning of mass production at a Canadian joint cathode materials plant between SK On, Ford and EcoPro BM was delayed about a year to 2027.“The establishment of the joint venture between SK On, Ford and EcoPro is expected to be delayed a bit,” EcoPro CEO Song Ho-jun told shareholders during an annual general meeting on March 28.

BlueOval SK, a joint venture between SK On and Ford, also postponed mass production at its second plant in the U.S. state of Kentucky, as the U.S. carmaker decided late last year to delay its $12 billion investments into EVs.Both companies, however, denied the latest delays in Ford’s EV production would have any impact on mass production at BlueOval SK’s Tennessee plant or its first Kentucky factory.“Construction is progressing at BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, and at the BlueOval SK joint venture battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky,” Ford said in a press release.SK On CEO Lee Seok-hee told reporters last month that the companies will make flexible decisions on the Kentucky plant’s operation, considering market conditions.Amid a deceleration in the global demand for EVs, other Korean battery firms are also struggling with worsening profits.LG Energy Solution said Friday that its first-quarter operating profit seems to have dropped 75 percent year-on-year to 157.3 billion won. Considering 188.9 billion won worth of advanced manufacturing production credits in accordance with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, the company is virtually considered to have turned a loss.Securities analysts expect the Korean battery industry to face difficulties in improving profits during the first half of this year, due to the decelerating demand for EVs in Europe 카지노사이트킹 and the growing market shares of Chinese battery makers.


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