Manufacturing News

Bosch, Samsung SDI, SAIC in China battery talks

Germany's Robert Bosch, South Korea's Samsung SDI and China's SAIC Motor Corp are in advanced talks to produce lithium-ion batteries in China to take advantage of the country's strong backing for clean energy cars, a senior Bosch executive said on Friday.

"We are in the final stage (of talks)," Roland Ehniss, a Bosch executive vice-president, told Reuters on the sidelines of the Global Automobile Forum in the southwestern city of Chengdu, adding that he hoped the venture could start production by 2012.

The German auto parts giant set up a 50-50 joint venture with Samsung SDI in 2008 to make hybrid electric vehicle batteries from 2010 with a minimum investment of $500 million for four to five years.

Bosch already has a 51-49 auto parts joint venture with SAIC, China's largest automaker. Under the deal being discussed, Bosch and Samsung SDI could fold some of their existing venture's manufacturing and development activities into a new China based tie-up with SAIC.

"We (will) bring the battery company to China and integrate it into our joint venture with our Chinese partner," Ehniss said. "We are talking about the (shareholding structure)."

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