During the reception to celebrate the National Day of Korea at the Korean Embassy in France, Isabelle Bailly, Chairman of SNECI, had the opportunity to discuss the “World Champion” program for the automotive industry with His Excellency CHOI Jong-Moon.
The World Champion project was initiated by Kotra to promote small- and medium-sized enterprises with growth potential to become global champions. Among them, 36 are automotive suppliers.
The Korean automotive industry has experienced incredible growth over the past 30 years. Starting from acquiring new technology thanks to the licenses, mainly from Japan, and building trade ties with America, Europe, China, and India, Korea has continued to develop innovative technologies that have put its products’ quality on par with those from the top European and Japanese automotive suppliers. In 2019, Korea will remain the 4th largest car manufacturing country in the world with nearly 9 million cars forecast to be built, primarily for Hyundai-Kia.
Furthermore, the Korean R&D sector features many leaders in fuel cells, Hybrid, EV, H2, batteries, and autonomous vehicles. In recent years, Samsung Group has made a significant move to enter the automotive electronics industry by acquiring the German supplier Harmann. Together with LG and SK Innovation, Samsung has now made Korea a world leader in battery technology. It appears logical that Renault-Nissan, together with Valeo and Navya, has recently decided to develop their autonomous vehicles in Korea as well.
“Thanks to the World Champion program, Korea has identified the enterprises that it wants to promote internationally. We are already working closely with some of the champions in the automotive sector, and are in negotiations with several more to provide support during their development on the European market”, says Isabelle Bailly.
In parallel, SNECI develops several European suppliers on the Korean market to enter the Hyundai-Kia supplier panel.
“To become a supplier of Hyundai-Kia, even if it is for deliveries in Europe, Russia, or India, you need to conduct regular meetings with purchasing and engineering decision centers based in Korea. Thanks to our presence in Korea since 2007, we have successfully developed many international clients on this market”, says Hervé Champion, SNECI Business Development Director. “Some of these clients include German, Italian, French and Swiss automotive suppliers. Such international industrial exchanges allow SNECI to have a broad vision of the automotive world.”