VW & Bosch are dropping their joint venture plans
The Volkswagen Group and Bosch will not realise their planned joint venture to equip battery cell factories. Volkswagen and its battery subsidiary PowerCo are now pursuing the plan without Bosch as a partner – but Bosch will remain on board as a supplier.
“We are not setting up a joint venture,” Bosch CEO Stefan Hartung confirmed, however, he did not give any reasons for the change of plans. Both companies made the considerations public at the beginning of 2022. Together, the partners wanted to establish a supply chain for battery cell factories. The aim was to supply integrated battery production systems and to support battery cell and system manufacturers in ramp-up and maintenance on site.
Volkswagen and its Salzgitter-based battery subsidiary PowerCo now want to press ahead with the project alone – for the time being. “We are currently in talks with potential partners. We will provide information on the exact constellation in due course,” said a VW spokesperson. According to Hartung, however, Bosch will not be involved in the way originally planned.
However, Bosch and VW are not completely abandoning their cooperation. Bosch will continue to help the carmaker digitalise its factories, Hartung explains. According to Bosch’s digital head Tanja Rückert, the company supplies software for VW’s cell factories. With the necessary speed in digitalisation, Bosch and VW could work together “better on a project level than in such a construct” [the cancelled joint venture, editor’s note], Rückert says.
Since speed is generally important in digitalisation, the companies could work together “better at project level than in such a construct”, she said, referring to the cancelled joint venture.
PowerCo had recently announced the construction of another battery factory of its own. It will be built in St. Thomas, Canada, and will have an annual capacity of up to 90 GWh. The ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for 2024 and the start of production in 2027. The European cell factories in Salzgitter and Sagunt are already under construction. In addition, plans were announced in April for PowerCo to work with partners to build an ecosystem for electric vehicle batteries in Indonesia.
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