11/5/2014

Conti May Abandon EV Battery Venture

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Continental AG says a lackluster market may prompt it to exit the joint venture it set up last year with South Korea's SK Innovation Co. to make batteries for electric vehicles, Bloomberg News reports.

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Continental AG says a lackluster market may prompt it to exit the joint venture it set up last year with South Korea's SK Innovation Co. to make batteries for electric vehicles, Bloomberg News reports.

The two companies began collaborating in 2012 to develop and market lithium-ion batteries for EVs. Last year they agree to invest a combined €270 million ($340 million) over five years on the project.

But Wolfgang Schaefer, Conti's chief financial officer, tells Bloomberg the market for EV batteries is "less attractive than we thought two or three years ago."

In the third quarter ended Sept. 30 Conti wrote down €80 million ($97 million) of the joint venture's value. Schaefer says the company will decide by year-end whether to end the partnership.

IHS Automotive predicts EV sales will approximately triple by 2020 but will account for only about 1% of the global car market.