South Korea’s DongShin Motech Ltd. will invest up to $90 million on a new battery casing facility to supply the $5-billion Stellantis-LG Energy Solutions Windsor battery factory announced earlier this year
The Windsor-Essex region is getting another electric vehicle battery supply chain contributor: South Korean company DongShin Motech Ltd. The company and the city executed a letter of intent earlier this month, announcing at least a $60-million investment (likely to rise to $90 million) to build a 170,000-square-foot, 300-job battery casing factory.
The DongShin facility will directly supply aluminium battery casings for lithium-ion EV batteries to Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions’s $5 billion battery cell factory (a joint venture recently named NextStar Energy), announced in March 2022. The casings are considered specialized with high thermal resistance and are lightweight and shock absorbent. DongShin says that while Stellantis will be its first customer, it is actively looking for other North American clients.
“To supply our local customers, we are pleased that Windsor will be the home of our first North American manufacturing facility. Dongshin Motech has a history of producing highly specialized components to support global automotive clients, and we are pleased to bring our skills and expertise to Canada,” said Choon Woo Lim, Dongshin’s CEO in a press release.
DongShin was established in South Korea in 1995 and employs approximately 600 people worldwide. The Windsor plant will be Dongshin’s first North American operation. Most of its existing facilities are in Poland and many of its customers in Asia and Europe.
On its social media page, DongShin describes itself as a “Tier 1 Automotive Body Parts Supplier for Renault SM Korea, Nissan Japan and its subsidiary in Pune, India…the Tier 1 Body Parts Supplier for GM, VW, TATA, Benteler.”
Windsor reestablishing auto industry authority
In the last six months, Ontario has seen billions of dollars worth of EV battery supply chain announcements — most of them centred around the Windsor-Essex nucleus of auto manufacturing.
For their part, City of Windsor officials made sure to specify during the DongShin announcement in Windsor last week that there is “more than adequate” electricity to supply the DongShin plant.
In a press release, Invest WindsorEssex president and chief executive officer Stephen MacKenzie — who made controversial comments in May about the city losing out on a $2-billion contract due to lack of electricity supply — said of the DongShin deal: “Today’s announcement is significant and vital to the execution of our overall strategy. Each investment attraction opportunity is an incredibly competitive process.”
In addition to a sound energy supply, DongShin will also be given further incentives through Windsor’s Economic Revitalization Community Improvement Plan.
DongShin will join Stellantis, LG Energy Solutions and Flex-n-Gate in Windsor’s EV-related ecosystem, which now ranges nearly uninterrupted from R&D (Flex-n-Gate) to cell manufacturing (Stellantis/LGES).
DongShin’s factory will be adjacent to the Windsor airport on city-owned land. The company expects construction to be complete by September 2023 with deliveries to the Stellantis plant beginning in the spring the following year.
“Dongshin Motech’s investment in our community proves that Windsor is on the move,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.
“We’re competing and we are winning the race to attract investment, create great local jobs and build an EV battery manufacturing base.”