By on November 14, 2010

Did you know that the Volt’s most important and priciest ingredient comes from Korea? The Volt battery is made by LG Chem, the battery arm of the Korean company formerly known as Lucky Goldstar. Noises coming from Korea indicate that GM might be building more Volts than thought. How do the Koreans know that? GM ordered more batteries.

“GM is likely to order far more batteries than we have previously planned for next year,” Ham Jae-gyung, senior vice president of LG’s car battery division, said at a briefing, without disclosing the size of the possible order, reports Reuters.

Originally, GM planned to build 10,000 Volts in 2011 and about 30,000 in 2012. In July, they up-revised those plans to 45,000 units in 2012. Now it could be even more. Why? Because of a single customer, GE.

GE announced they would buy 25,000 electric cars, including 12,000 from GM over the next five years.

LG Chem has a 6 year exclusive with GM. In reaction to the sudden demand, LG Chem plans to boost its annual production capacity at its Korean car battery plant. LG Chem’s U.S. battery plant will start production in 2012. It’s capacity will also be expanded.

Despite the good news, LG’s “much-touted car battery business has not been able to generate meaningful revenue for the South Korean manufacturer of chemicals and rechargeable batteries for mobile devices, as the market has not taken off,” says Reuters. It’s an investment in the supposedly electrified future.

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8 Comments on “Good News For Korea: GM Will Build More Volts...”

  • avatar

    seems that in the electrified future everybody loses money..

  • avatar

    It amuses me that the same government that can’t get an open Korean market for US made cars is buying batteries for its flagship electric vehicle from those same Koreans.
    One thing can be said for the Koreans, they support their own. Korean cars are made with mostly Korean parts (even the US assembled ones), Korean tires, etc.., while we sell our manufacturers down the river for a couple of bucks. It’s no wonder we are in such a mess.

    • 0 avatar

      @dwford: The South Koreans aren’t the only ones who support their own, you could say the same about the Germans, Italians, Japanese, etc. It’s just the US consumer who throw their own companies under the bus, and then wonders why our economy is so weak.
      The South Koreans have done a good job of making themselves the automotive battery source. I live about 25 miles from the battery plant in Western Michigan, and we’re happy to have it. It would be great if we would make the component batteries here, instead.

    • 0 avatar

      We COULD have made the batteries here, we just chose not to. Which is interesting since the government owns GM.

    • 0 avatar

      while we sell our manufacturers down the river for a couple of bucks. It’s no wonder we are in such a mess.

      American industry started this crap in the late 60s/early 70s with consumer electronics and they’ve never looked back.  We have become addicted to the Chinese-made $40 DVD player, but has anybody really calculated the true cost when all factors are involved?  Funny when you go to an antique store, the vast majority of the stuff, even trinkets bear Made In USA labels.  Where have all those people gone?  Not everybody can be retrained…nor should they have to.  Our country can’t provide jobs for all skill levels?  GM should have built those batteries here. 

  • avatar

    I can see the LG Chem factory that makes the Volt batteries from my apartment in South Korea. I drive by it every day on my way to work. In the past 12 months is has grown in size immensely and it continues to grow. It’s surrounded by construction cranes that operate, literally, 24/7. I find the “unprofitable” quote ironic as LG Chem stocks have shot up from about $70 16 months ago to $400 today!! Good thing I bought lots of them as soon as I found out that they had won the contract for the Volt batteries. I think LG Chem also has a battery contract with Volvo.

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