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SsangYong and BYD could be teaming up to build a battery factory, but will they co-develop new electric cars? - Report

BYD and SsangYong could be about to build a battery factory in Korea.

The carmaker formerly known as SsangYong, but now known as KG Mobility, has made no secret of its desire to dive head first into the EV market.

And China’s BYD is already there, with a number of fully battery electric models on offer in its home market, and an increasing number of global markets.

But according to a report by Reuters, South Korea’s KG is in talks with BYD to build a new battery factory in Korea. The publication quotes a source as saying the plan was to “secure stable battery supplies”.

Bloomberg also reported that production could kick off from as soon as early 2025.

As well as producing combustion and battery electric vehicle models like the Atto 3, Seal and Dolphin, BYD - or Build Your Dreams - is also the second largest battery maker in the world.

BYD’s entrance into the Korean market is bold, given the country is home to some of the biggest battery producers - Samsung, LG and SK On.

But will this joint venture result in more collaborations between the two companies? Could we see SsangYong/KG Mobility models with BYD underpinnings?

That’s unclear at this early stage, but both marques are investing heavily in BEVs.

SsangYong has revealed a number of EV concepts in recent times, including the 0100 electric ute and the F100 electric SUV at March’s Seoul Mobility Show, as well as the Torres EVX SUV also in March.

It’s not yet certain whether the 0100 and F100 will make it to production, but the electric Torres is a certainty, and it could well make it Down Under.

Proving that the relationship between BYD and KG Mobility isn’t just something happening in the future, the Torres EVX will be powered by a 73.4kWh battery pack sourced from BYD. This will power a 150kW electric motor on the front axle.

The SsangYong name will remain in Australia for some time to come and it’s not clear whether it will switch over to KG Mobility anytime soon.

SsangYong is having a cracking year in Australia when it comes to vehicle sales. After struggling with supply during the pandemic, the brand has turned things around with sales of 3795 to the end of July, which is 110 per cent ahead of the same period last year and enough to outsell Mini and Porsche.

The Musso ute is SsangYong’s biggest seller by a big margin, with 2304 finding homes this year, up 221 per cent. The related Rexton SUV is second on 1117 (+47%), while the Korando medium SUV is third with 374 (+13.7%).