VW 'unintended victim' in battery supplier dispute, seeks four-year
Send a link to a friend
[February 13, 2021] By
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG late
Friday called itself an "unintended victim" in a battle between two
battery suppliers and urged the U.S. government to extend a reprieve to
buy batteries key to its planned U.S. electric vehicle production.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Wednesday sided with LG
Chem in a trade secrets case, but permitted SK Innovation to import
components for domestic production of lithium ion batteries for Ford
Motor Co's EV F-150 program for four years, and for Volkswagen of
America’s electric vehicle line for two years.
VW said Friday it will request its carve out be "extended to at least
four years to give an adequate transition period. Ultimately, however,
it is our hope the two suppliers will settle this dispute outside of the
The German automaker has invested $800 million to build electric
vehicles in Tennessee and hiring hundreds of employees. "Volkswagen will
take all necessary steps to allow us to fulfill our commitment to
provide skilled jobs to proud Tennessee workers," the automaker said.
[to top of second column]
The logo of German carmaker Volkswagen is seen on car in a showroom
of a Volkswagen car dealer in Brussels, Belgium July 9, 2020.
On Thursday, Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley publicly encouraged LG Chem and SK
Innovation to reach a settlement. VW and Ford previously warned the dispute
could disrupt supplies of the key EV parts and cost U.S. jobs during the
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Friday called on President Joe Biden to overturn
the ITC ruling, warning the long-term prospects for the $2.6 billion SK
Innovation battery plant in Jackson County, Georgia, would be "harmed
significantly." The plant will eventually build batteries for Volkswagen and
The White House and SK Innovation declined comment.
LG Energy Solution counsel Dave Callahan said the company "remains committed to
negotiating a fair settlement for the theft of its trade secrets" and said the
Georgia plant will be able to operate.
"The only obstacle to resolving this matter and securing the plant's long-term
future is (SK Innovation's) refusal to acknowledge its wrongdoing and make
amends," he added.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
[© 2021 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.