Bosch withdraws from battery JV with Samsung

September 06, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In a move already widely expected in the industry, automotive supplier Robert Bosch GmbH has announced to withdraw from the joint venture with Samsung, SB LiMotive. The company now plans to develop traction batteries for electromobility on its own.

Bosch said it is redefining the focal points of its activities in the light of the market structures. According to the release, Bosch and Samsung have agreed to reorganize their collaboration as well as future partnerships. Steps have been taken to ensure that all development and supply agreements will be continued, said Bosch Automotive chairman Bernd Bohr.

According to the agreement, SB LiMotive's entire battery systems business as well as the development of battery management systems will be transferred to Bosch. The Stuttgart, Germany, based company will also take over SB LiMotive's German subsidiary which focuses on systems engineering, battery management systems, prototyping, marketing and sales. At the same time, US subsidiary Cobasys with locations in Orion (MI) and Springboro (OH) will be integrated into Bosch. In addition, both partners will have access to the IP developed in the joint venture.

Bosch added that it plans to expand its activities related to electrochemistry and the production of lithium-ion battery cells. The goal is to cooperate with industry and academic partners and set up a European network for the research on high-performance batteries. The products to be developed in this context will serve not only the market of electromobility but also of stationary energy storage devices.

According to market watchers, the separation loomed out already for months, triggered by differences over product and investment cycles. Automotive supplier Bosch and consumer electronics vendor Samsung have assessed these cycles differently.