March 11, 1998 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Motors and Ford Explore Ways to Cooperate

SEOUL, Korea - March 11, 1998 - Samsung Motors Inc. of Korea and the US automaker, Ford Motor Company, have agreed to enter serious talks over mutually beneficial business opportunities. Dae-Won Lee, CEO and vice-chairman of Samsung Motors, flew for the US on March 11 to work out details to a strategic partnership with Ford.
Lee plans to meet Wayne Booker, vice-chairman of Ford, and other company officials of the potential partner to discuss the restructuring of Korea's automobile industry and details of a cooperative relationship between the two carmakers. Talks of forging a strategic partnership have been in the air for quite sometime and last January led to the two parties signing a letter of intent specifying a comprehensive range of possible cooperation including the two companies financing a joint venture.

Meanwhile, Lee and Booker have furthered discussions through several follow-up meetings and bilateral working level discussions have reportedly rounded up some major channels of viable cooperation, including:

.Production and supply of Ford's World Car through Samsung.
.Joint production and distribution of automobile parts in Korea and the world market.
.Joint R&D in the fields of automobile electronic technology and creation of future concept cars utilizing Samsung's core electronics know-how.
In addition, the two companies are also considering:
.Establishing and operating a joint car sales firm in Korea to maximize sales efficiency.
.Reinforcing financing services by creating a joint auto financier in Korea.
An alliance between Samsung Motors and Ford Motor Co. is expected to be welcomed as a role model case of international cooperation much needed by the financially troubled Korea and may even contribute to raising Korea's international credibility. Samsung Motors hopes that a partnership with the US automaker will act as a channel for active induction of foreign capital and contribute to overcoming the nation's foreign exchange crunch.
Ford Motor Company is the world's largest truck maker and the #2 manufacturer of cars and trucks combined. It makes vehicles under the Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Lincoln, and Mercury brands and has over 70 different models on the market. The company also has stakes in foreign-based automakers, including Kia, and an interest giving it effective control of Japanese automaker Mazda. Ford employs over 370,000 people and had sales of US$153 billion last year. About a third of Ford's sales are outside the US.

Samsung Motors Inc. was established in 1995 with the goal of developing an improved and distinctive automobile, and enhancing the overall quality of Korean-made vehicles. Earlier this year the company started mass production of the SM5 series automobiles at its state-of-the-art plant in Pusan, Korea. The Samsung Group, a leading electronics, engineering and chemical manufacturer and financial services company, employs approximately 260,000 people worldwide and had 1996 revenues of US$92.7 billion.


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