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South Korea Business Report

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World’s top automotive manufacturers rely on Samkee’s expertise and reliability

South Korean aluminium die-casting company develops technologies to make lighter and more fuel-efficient cars

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 10:36am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 10:36am

Samkee Automotive is an aluminium die-casting company from South Korea that offers a wide range of die-cast components for powertrain, structural and electric vehicle applications for major carmakers. Three of the top five carmakers in the world count on Samkee Automotive to produce key core components for their transmission and engine parts.

Since its inception in 1978, Samkee has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Hyundai Motor and sister brand Kia Motors, collectively South Korea’s largest carmaker, and is positioned as one of the key suppliers to many of the group’s subsidiaries. In 2013, Samkee was chosen to supply valve bodies of direct-shift gearbox transmissions to Volkswagen and has continued to develop its relationship with the world’s largest carmaker.

“We are the first Korean die-casting company to do business with Volkswagen and one of the first players in Asia to produce components for the company,” says CEO Kim Chi-hwan. This signifies Samkee’s ability to meet the rigorous requirements and strictest quality standards of the carmaker that has become emblematic of German industry and quality.

China is the biggest market when it comes to automotive. About a quarter of our projects are focused on China
Kim Chi-hwan, CEO, Samkee

While the contract to manufacture valve body for the German group is a first for Samkee, the lightweight materials specialist is no stranger to working with global players. For more than 30 years, Samkee has been supplying parts to Hyundai-Kia. It has also served General Motors, Audi and other tier-1 original equipment manufacturers who favour first-class manufacturing and engineering.

Samkee’s revenue sources come mainly from traditional powertrain components and its aluminium business. However, it projects that up to 30 per cent of its revenue will come from electric vehicle components in the next five years.

“China is the biggest market when it comes to automotive,” Kim says. “About a quarter of our projects are focused on China.”

Working in collaboration with LG and other companies, Samkee is developing technologies for body and chassis lightweighting and vehicles electrification, thereby reducing energy consumption. Samkee’s research and development team is equipped with in-house capability to enhance mechanical properties and castability using computer-aided simulations and analyses. Its continuous innovation in process engineering to boost productivity is a core element to its success.

“Our Seosan melting facility can provide feedstock to our plants in South Korea,” Kim says. “We’re agile, very flexible and very reliable.”

With more than 600 employees, Samkee strives to deliver a one-stop solution to its customers, offering a wide range of services, from high-quality alloy production, die-casting and machining to treatment and assembly. Finishing strong in the last fiscal year with US$256 million in revenue, the company is confident that its robust pipeline of activities will propel it higher.

www.samkee.com