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VW ‘unintended sufferer’ in battery provider dispute, seeks four-year reprieve By Reuters


© Reuters. The logo of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen can be seen on the car in a showroom of a Volkswagen car dealership in Brussels

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Volkswagen AG (OTC 🙂 described itself as an “unintentional victim” late Friday in a battle between two battery suppliers and called on the US government to set a deadline for purchasing battery keys for planned US production of To extend electric vehicles.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) sided with LG Chem on Wednesday in a trade secret case, but allowed SK Innovation to supply components for the domestic production of lithium-ion batteries for the EV F-150 for four years -Import program from Ford Motor (NYSE 🙂 Co and for Volkswagen (DE 🙂 the American electric vehicle line for two years.

VW said Friday it would request that the spin-off “be extended to at least four years to allow for a reasonable transition period. Ultimately, however, we hope the two suppliers will settle this dispute outside of the courtroom.”

The German automaker has invested $ 800 million to build electric vehicles in Tennessee and hired hundreds of employees. “Volkswagen will take all necessary steps so that we can meet our commitment to provide skilled workers to proud workers in Tennessee,” said the automaker.

On Thursday, Ford CEO Jim Farley publicly encouraged LG Chem and SK Innovation to reach an agreement. VW and Ford previously warned the dispute could disrupt supplies of key EV parts and cost US jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Friday called on President Joe Biden to overturn the ITC ruling, warning that the long-term prospects for the $ 2.6 billion SK Innovation battery plant in Jackson County, Georgia, would be “significantly damaged”. The plant will eventually build batteries for Volkswagen and Ford.

The White House and SK Innovation declined to comment.

Dave Callahan, advisor to LG Energy Solution, said the company “continues to seek a fair solution to the theft of its trade secrets,” and said the Georgia facility will be operational.

“The only obstacle to solving this problem and securing the long-term future of the plant is the refusal by (SK Innovation) to acknowledge its wrongdoing and to take remedial action,” he added.

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