Samsung Gearing Up For Electric Car Race With Apple?

Samsung is gearing up to develop its own electric car, following rumors that Apple was building one.

Samsung acquired Magna Steyr and all of its assets and employees for an undisclosed amount. Magna Steyr was a division of Magna International, based in Austria, and is reportedly one of the largest suppliers of car parts in North America.

Samsung actually has a division for producing electric car parts, Samsung SDI, which supplies BMW with batteries. Merging Magna Steyr with Samsung SDI helps to strengthen the division. Although this acquisition might just be to expand business as a parts supplier for other companies, it could also be in reaction to Apple's recent activities.

Apple has recently been working to gain experienced personnel from companies such as Tesla and A123, both of which are heavily invested in the development of electric cars, and batteries for electric cars. As a result, there has been much speculation that Apple might be building an electric car.

If that is indeed Apple's goal, it wouldn't be surprising for Samsung to do the same. Samsung is well known today for its electronics business, but it has divisions working in several other areas including engineering, chemicals, insurance, ship building, machine tools, medicine, security and hotels.

Already having expertise in several areas of engineering, Samsung has great potential to move into producing vehicles, and is almost certainly in a better position to do so than Apple. For now, it is actually unknown if either Apple or Samsung will make a move into electric cars at all—it's all been speculation up to this point—but evidence is mounting that indicates a race between Apple and Samsung in yet another market.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • segio526
    How is Samsung, who has been making batteries for many years, and supplies the batteries for the BMW i3 and i8, gearing up for Electric Car Race with Apple? They're expanding their business. All of a sudden, there's rumors (RUMORS!) of Apple working on an autonomous car and allegations of them poaching A123 employees, so, of course, Apple must be the de facto leader in the industry and the one to beat, so Samsung has to play catch-up now. IF Apple enters the battery business and even IF they enter the car business, they have a VERY difficult road ahead on either front. Manufacturers buy batteries, not home consumers, so the pay more for less "cool tax" isn't going to work for them, they will genuinely have to make a better product at a competitive price.
  • dwatterworth
    It's all wild speculation at this point, which the headlines sure don't disclose on any article related to this topic it seems. Lots of smoke, definitely no fire. I never really pegged Toms for sensationalizing tidbits of information...
  • StarBound
    In South Africa we have discovered candle light. Electricity is so 7 years ago...
  • Eximo
    It is odd how they keep reporting on it from that perspective. Considering A123 went out of business years ago, seems rather late anyway. They sold their factory in China and the IP, so Apple isn't getting much, they would have to create an all new battery technology to avoid patent wars. If they had said Apple bought the IP I would consider it more of a sign they intended to enter the market.

    Between Panasonic and Tesla, I think they have the market cornered. Not to mention the OEMs like Nissan already doing it. Chevy and Ford, meh, they just do it for fleet emissions. Kia just released the electric Soul.

    Samsung already sells branded cars for that matter, so that have that leg up on Apple.

    Even have some A123 battery packs. Certainly the densest lithium ion pile available at the time.

  • SoiledBottom
    In other news Ford and GM are looking into developing smartphones.
  • g-thor
    It seems "journalism" is desperate these days for stories, so when they don't have one they collapse into rabid speculation mode. Cult of Mac published a piece of speculative fiction similar to this, but even wilder.

    Apparently Apple visited Magna Steyr, and only a couple of weeks after this was reported, Samsung swept in and bought up the company. What amazing lawyers they must have. And what an astonishing price they must have offered Mr. Stronach to get him to sell in such short order.

    I suspect that, in reality, the lawyers wouldn't have been able to read the contract in a couple of weeks, let alone add their own touches to it.

    This type of unfounded, unsubstantiated journalism just makes me shake my head in disbelief, and lose more confidence in the reporting site. Tom's - you're slipping.
  • fuzzion
    Apple will not be able to get the same margins with cars as it does with phones.

    Not yet, atleast.

    It is also not very profitable just to make car consoles. I smell a Joint venture at best.

    Read this as well
  • Sarpich Soeur
    the author of this article needs to do more research before posting, samsung has been in the car business since the 90's with nissan/renault. its just natural progression that they would work on electric cars, apple is years behind samsung on the automobile.
  • Sarpich Soeur
    the author of this article needs to do more research before posting, samsung has been in the car business since the 90's with nissan/renault. its just natural progression that they would work on electric cars, apple is years behind samsung on the automobile.
  • therealduckofdeath
    Samsung has been in the car business for two decades. You RDF infected "writers" REALLY need to start writing a bit more seriously.