Ford in support of SK Innovation in battery lawsuit against LG Chem

Ford, which is planning to launch the electric F-150 in 2023, is currently building facilities  in Northern Michigan, which is home to its headquarters. The automaker is planning to use batteries from SK Innovation, which is building a battery manufacturing plant in the southeastern U.S. state of Georgia, instead of those from LG Chem, which has a battery manufacturing plant near its headquarters, Businesskorea.co.kr reports.

Ford is paying much attention to their ongoing trade secret litigation in the United States. This is because SK Innovation cannot bring required components and materials into the United States if the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) maintains its ruling against SK Innovation in the final judgment scheduled for Oct. 5.

Ford is actively supporting SK Innovation. In its recent written opinion submitted to the USITC, Ford said that it selected SK Innovation as a partner before the controversy began and the selection was based on its conclusion that the company is suitable for its purpose.

The ITC made a default judgment against SK Innovation early this year and the ruling is likely to be maintained next month. However, there is a possibility that the administrative order, including an import ban, would be kept to a minimum with the ruling maintained. The cooperation between Ford and SK Innovation in the electric vehicle industry can affect the final ruling.

Ford also pointed out that non-SK Innovation batteries are not suitable for its vehicles. “Different electric vehicles use different batteries and, as such, supplier selection has to be carried out at least four years before the initial production,” it said, adding, “The argument that LG Chem can take the place of SK Innovation is unacceptable in this regard, and LG Chem’s plants under expansion in Ohio and Michigan are facilities focusing on supply to GM, Nissan and Tesla and have no room for us.” Experts point out that U.S. President Donald Trump, whose top priorities include job creation, may exercise his veto if the public interest comes into play.

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