In an almost earth-shattering decision issued by the US International Trade Commission, the South Korean company SK Innovation has been issued a 10-year import ban. The South Korean company (SK Innovation) is the rival of LG Chem and produces electric batteries and components for both Ford and VW (Volkswagen) electric vehicle products.
Both Ford and Volkswagen have begun producing lithium-ion battery components for their lines of electric vehicles using a factory recently acquired in Georgia. However, given the impact of the decision, the companies will have to find alternatives to their imported parts from SKI and the ramifications from this will likely result in changes to both Ford and VW’s product offerings in the US market.
So what now for VW and Ford?
Both VW and Ford, have been granted temporary reprieve from the import sanctions (VW for two years and Ford for four), however, experts covering the industry expect that the ramifications are still unknown. Both companies in filings clarified that this may jeopardize the transition to greener vehicles in the US market.
This complaint resulted from a complaint by LG Chem, who is likely the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer, alleged that SKI had illegally acquired technology and then subsequently destroyed records concerning such.
It is really embarrassing. I’ve reached out to the top executives at both companies and urged them to find a quick solution.Prime Minister of South Korea, Chung Sye-kyun
LG Chem, was satisfied with the outcome of the ruling and said “SKI… improperly secured lucrative contracts with US auto manufacturers” and used illegally obtained technology for “historic subsidies and incentives from state and local governments to build a new manufacturing facility in Georgia.”