Volkswagen to invest in batteries in Germany

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Volkswagen is set to invest almost 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in battery cell production at a facility located in western Germany and is looking forward to simplify the group by spinning off or selling units, the automaker stated on Monday.

Volkswagen stated after a supervisory board meeting it is going to invest in the battery facility in Lower Saxony under a partnership and would also start talks about their planning of a new multibrand plant in Europe.

The statement confirms a Reuters report previously on Monday, on the eve of the company’s yearly general meeting.

Battery cells are a major battleground in the automotive industry as it moves to electric mobility. Presently the industry chiefly sources its needs from Asian manufacturers.

Volkswagen also stated it was looking into alternatives for its MAN Energy Solutions business, that makes large diesel engines for ships and power generators, along with transmissions maker Renk, such as joint ventures, partnerships, a full or partial sale.

The moves are part of Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess’s efforts to trim down and simplify the group that has 12 brands, trucks, buses, motorbikes, cars and electric bicycles as part of its business.

“Given the ever greater complexity of our industry and the related challenges, it is important to focus on our core business,” Supervisory Board Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch stated.

Volkswagen also stated it would restart plannings for an initial public offering (IPO) of its trucks unit Traton, that it put on hold in March because of volatile market conditions.

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