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Business trends

South Korean battery makers look beyond China for growth

SK Innovation and LG Chem add plants to supply Europe and US

SK Innovation looks to open three new plants for lithium-ion batteries by 2022, all supplying the U.S. or Europe.

SEOUL/FRANKFURT, Germany -- South Korean producers of lithium-ion batteries are looking to develop new markets in Europe and the U.S. as fierce competition and regulatory restrictions hamper their growth in China, the world's largest electric-vehicle market.

SK Innovation, an energy and chemical arm of conglomerate SK group, intends to open automobile battery plants in the U.S. and Hungary by 2022. LG Chem, the No. 4 player worldwide, plans to use its second Chinese plant under construction in Nanjing as an export hub to markets like the U.S. and Europe.

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