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Webasto and Wanxiang ink Shanghai battery partnership

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Automotive component manufacturers Webasto and Wanxiang A123 are to cooperate on a Shanghai-based battery development partnership targeting commercial vehicles for the Chinese market.

China-based Wanxiang, which also produces lithium-ion batteries, has signed a partnership agreement to produce a battery module that will be integrated in Munich-based Webasto’s modular battery system.

The project is the first under the partnership. The battery modules from Wanxiang contain high-quality NCM battery cells.

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A123 sells cathode material manufacturing assets to Johnson Matthey

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:13 -- Laura Varriale
A123 Systems LLC

Michigan-headquartered lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems has sold its Chinese cathode materials manufacturing facility to chemicals company Johnson Matthey.

A123 Systems retained the ownership of its intellectual property and will maintain its research and development capability of battery materials and to further develop improvements of its lithium iron phosphate (LFP) formulation.

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A123 hires former Johnson Controls executive

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 13:05 -- Laura Varriale
A123 Systems LLC

Lithium battery manufacturer A123 Systems LLC (A123) has appointed Patrick Hurley as chief technology officer.

Hurley previously worked for power management company Johnson Controls’s power solutions business unit and was the industrial contact between Johnson Controls and the US Department of Energy’s research partnership, the Joint Center for Energy Storage.

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Fisker caught in bankruptcy battle

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 12:52 -- Ruth Williams

Fisker Automotive entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in November 2013 following mounting debts. A bidding war for its assets, and debts, has begun between Wanxiang America and Hybrid Tech Holdings – a newly-formed Hong Kong-based company.

A $25m deal was nearly complete for Hybrid Tech to buy Fisker’s assets and take over a defaulted Department of Energy loan. However, before the deal was sealed Wanxiang, a Chinese auto-parts maker, made a rival offer. 

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A123 sale complete to Chinese automaker

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The sale of A123’s automotive assets to Wanxiang Corporation has closed for US$256.6 million. An assurance has been made that Wanxiang America will continue to operate A123 as a wholly owned subsidiary, focussing upon making micro-hybrid batteries. 

Wanxiang America President Pin Ni, said:  “A123 is a company with exceptional talent and potential, Wanxiang America is committed to the long-term success and the continuance of its US operations.”

The US Department of Energy gave A123 a grant of US$249 million to build new plants in Michigan and create 3000 new jobs. Up until bankruptcy proceedings it had only spent $132 million and created 1300 jobs. This loan will only be repaid if A123 cannot fulfill the initial promises. 

Amid fears of US-taxpayer funded development going into the hands of a foreign company, federal approval for the sale had to be obtained. The defence and security contracts were sold to a small US-based pack maker called Navitas for US$2.2 million. By ensuring these contracts remained within the US reduced fears of security breaches if technology developed for US military was in the hands of a non-allied nation.

Navitas’s founder and COO Alan ElShafei said: "I don't want to say we're a savior on the government side, but that's kind of our role. There are some unique technologies we're acquiring that Wanxiang will not have access to."

The Chief Executive of A123, David Vieau, has left the company to “pursue other interests.”

 

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