“Our goal is becoming a company that surpasses Tesla.”
“Our goal is becoming a company that surpasses Tesla.”
  • 시사뉴스매거진
  • 승인 2021.10.12 11:24
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Ssangyong Motor, once a proud car brand of the Korean people, has gone through several sales due to its constant deficit. It has been acquired as many as six times so far and then re-sold. However, a South Korean company recently jumped into t he takeover process, vowing to escape the deficit within three years of Ssangyong's acquisition based on its technology. Kang Young-kwon, chairman of Edison Motors, an electric vehicle manufacturing company located in Hamyang, South Gyeongsang Province, is the main character. Edison Motors has been at the forefront of developing eco-friendly CNGs and electric buses for 20 years, and has been called "fast fish" in the industry. In particular, some technologies are unrivaled in electric vehicles. The groundbreaking ceremony for the second plant in Gunsan was held late last month to make a leap forward to become a global company. I met with Chairman Kang Young-kwon in person and heard about the future of electric vehicles in Korea. 


 ㈜에디슨모터스 강영권 회장(사진=에디슨모터스)

Prepare solid acquisition plans step by step

Many global companies around the world are working hard to produce electric vehicles. If there was a "smartphone revolution" in the past, the industry's guidance is changing so rapidly that the next is called the "electric car revolution." In Korea, large companies have also jumped into electric cars, but they are definitely Edison Motors in terms of their own technology. Representative Kang Young-kwon has vowed to turn the surplus within three years after the acquisition by jumping into the battle for Ssangyong Motor's acquisition. In particular, he has a great ambition to "beyond Tesla.""When our company entered the takeover race, there were a lot of words around us. There are also words that start with "shrimp is trying to do reckless things that devour whales" and "eat and run" or "real purpose of developing land." But I don't care about that at all. There's only one purpose. I just want to combine Edison Motors' outstanding technology with Ssangyong's manpower and production infrastructure to create the world's best electric vehicle company beyond the best in Korea. The funding plan has already been completed. It is to buy a listed company, make at least 250 billion won in funds, and make 400 billion won with the help of other investors. Subsequently, if we raise $800 billion to $1 billion through fund companies, not only acquisition funds but also operating funds will be sufficient. We have a plan to turn the profit into a surplus in a short period of time after the acquisition, as well as boost sales to 8 to 9 trillion won in five years."In fact, Edison Motors formed a consortium with KCGI, Keystone Private Equity (PE), and TG Investment, and plans to change its name to "Edison EV" in late August after allowing semiscisco, a small electric vehicle manufacturer, to acquire shares in Edison Motors. All these preparations are going smoothly step by step, and Chairman Kang is increasing his hopes for the future of the new electric car. The acquisition is not the only thing that matters. It can be said that how to produce products after acquisition. In response, Chairman Kang Young-kwon has already made his own plans.Once Ssangyong is acquired, the company will completely renovate its facilities, produce internal combustion locomotives, hybrid cars and electric cars at the same time, and increase them to 300,000 units, which it has never seen before, will revive dramatically. If this happens, Edison Motors will become the nation's top electric vehicle manufacturer. Furthermore, Chairman Kang Young-kwon's ultimate goal is to “company beyond Tesla.” “In the past, Ford Motor was the largest company in the world, and I didn't think there would be any other company. Nevertheless, Toyota came out, Volkswagen came out, and a company called GM was born. Tesla looks like the biggest company now, and there's no one to go beyond it, but there will be more electric vehicle companies out there, and Edison Motors will be the strongest competitor among them. It could take 10 years, it could take 20 years, but I don't think we'll ever dream of a grand future unless we prepare for it from now on.”
SMART 110G(사진=에디슨모터스)

Robust line-up and outstanding technology

In the end, Edison Motors' plan to acquire Ssangyong Motor is under way with the goal of creating the world's best electric vehicle company based on solid technology and capital. Then, what kind of technical confidence does Chairman Kang Young-kwon have to have in mind to dream of such a dream?"First of all, we have three major self-development technologies. The first is the next generation integrated vehicle controller. We have studied and developed integrated control and management software for vehicle driving mode determination, drive system control, fault diagnosis and safety functions. Secondly, we developed the next generation smart BMS. This proactively monitors the battery to evaluate its condition and maintain balance through management. It can be said that it is a smart battery management system that can improve the performance and life of batteries. Lastly, it is a driving motor solution developed with the production technology researcher. This motor can produce twice as much torque as its equivalent and is a competitive motor that can be exported to the world. These are the world's best technologies that only our company has. Only when we have this technology, we are meaningful in acquiring Ssangyong, and we are confident that we can make a surplus. “This is not the only technology Edison Motors has. It developed the next-generation cloud platform” and integrated the driver's smartphone and vehicle's smart management system to analyze driving patterns, analyze battery conditions, pre-recognition of faults, remote repair, and energy control. It also created a body of a bus with carbon fiber, saving 10 to 15 percent of the fuel efficiency of an electric bus and creating a heat-resistant product without corrosion.Thanks to these technologies, Edison Motors' product lineup is very solid. Electric buses already include SMART 110(low-phase electric bus, plug-in, main model), e-FIBIRD BSEV (battery exchangeable), SMART 110H, SMART 093 (large electric bus), and SMART 097 (medium electric bus) and SMART 077 (medium electric bus) are currently under development. CNG buses and electric trucks include SMART 110G(CNG low-floor bus, main model) and SMART 110HG (CNG high-floor bus) and are currently on pre-sale of SMART T1 electric trucks. In addition, SMART S, E, and A will be released in the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023. In addition, SMART MINI A, SMART MINI E, and electric SUV are all set to be released in the second half of 2022. Edison Motors was able to produce electric vehicles steadily with such solid technology because it acquired a vehicle division of a carbon fiber-based manufacturer called Fiber Korea. Korea Fiber was a company that manufactured missile bodies, airplane wings, and KTX parts with carbon fiber, and sold its vehicle division to a Chinese company for management reasons. Chairman Kang Young-kwon, who was recommended by an acquaintance and looked at it, was able to reacquire it from a Chinese company in January 2017, the year after the acquisition, creating the foundation for Edison Motors. Since then, he has brought in a large number of talented technical talents through "Ogo-Koryo," not Samgo-Koryo. His way of developing this business is due to his basic skills when he was a famous producer in the past and his long-standing experience in doing business. “In order for a broadcast producer to make a good broadcast, he must bring in a good writer, a good actor, and a good camera director to make a good content. I've been doing this for 13 years and I've been doing business for 24 years. I've been asking around the country to gather good technology, good talent, and that's the foundation for Edison Motors today.”
에디슨모터스 군산공장 조감도(사진=에디슨모터스)
에디슨모터스 군산공장 조감도(사진=에디슨모터스)

South Korea's electric vehicle phase

Until Chairman Kang Young-kwon's today, his deep thoughts and philosophy about life exist. He is said to have already accumulated assets in 2016 that would allow an individual to live a lifetime without envy. But he had one problem. I can travel and play golf all my life, but I thought I would regret it when I die. I strongly felt that I wanted to do something meaningful to the world, and such worries were linked to the future of the country."There was a presidential election at the time, and many people used to emphasize welfare and distribution. But in order to be good at welfare and distribution, the country's barn must be filled that much. If there are only those who give out without filling, our generation will have a big crisis. So I decided boldly and started a business to fill the country's barns, and to give happiness to more people than just enjoying life meaninglessly."However, it is said that there are certain difficulties in the path of such a project. Above all, the policy part is said to be disappointing. The fuel subsidy for electric vehicles is too small, and when overseas cars are sold in Korea, only simple tests are performed, but if our cars are to be sold abroad, we have to do certification work from the beginning. It is said that the minimum cost of doing so amounts to billions of dollars per country. Therefore, we hope that the government will solve these problems and open more opportunities for electric vehicle operators. Chairman Kang Young-kwon is also very interested in social contribution."It was a fresh shock to hear that 27-year-old Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent $3 billion on social contribution. If you're 27 years old, you're a young man who just discharged from the army in Korea. I think there should be a lot of companies like that and people like that in Korea, too. If I also have money allocated from my stake in our company, I would like to contribute to society, invest in new businesses, new technologies, and foster new venture companies with it.”Kang Young-kwon, chairman of Edison Motors, filled the country's barns, developed the country, and chose the path of social contribution rather than choosing his own comfortable life. I look forward to a day when his hands and head will shake the status of Korean electric cars around the world with their blood and sweat efforts.

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