This announcement builds on the existing partnership between A123 and SAIC Motor that was established in 2009 with the formation of Advanced Traction Battery Systems (ATBS), a battery pack joint venture (JV) company. Under a new framework agreement, A123 and SAIC Motor are carrying out a feasibility study to define the business plan and required investment for a jointly developed battery manufacturing facility in China. The proposed manufacturing facility is expected to serve the local market, with an initial focus on transportation, enabling A123 to more quickly and cost-effectively meet increasing demand for advanced lithium ion battery technology.
"Since the formation of ATBS, A123 has proven to be a strong partner for SAIC, including as the supplier of lithium ion battery systems for three of our electric vehicles—the Roewe 750 hybrid electric sedan, the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid electric sedan and the Roewe E50 battery electric vehicle," said Chen Zhixin, executive vice president of SAIC Motor Corp. "We believe there is significant opportunity for A123’s technology across several different markets in China, so expanding our partnership should provide SAIC with an even broader opportunity to benefit from the increasing demand for advanced lithium iron phosphate battery solutions."
SAIC Motor is the leader in the Chinese auto market and holds the country’s top market share when considering the output of its joint ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen among others. In 2011, SAIC Motor’s total vehicle production exceeded 4 million vehicles for the first time.
A123 Systems, Inc. AONE +1.10% is a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium ion batteries and energy storage systems for transportation, electric grid and commercial applications. The company’s proprietary Nanophosphate(R) lithium iron phosphate technology is built on novel nanoscale materials initially developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is designed to deliver high power and energy density, increased safety and extended life. A123 leverages breakthrough technology, high-quality manufacturing and expert systems integration capabilities to deliver innovative solutions that enable customers to bring next-generation products to market.