Nissan sells off battery business to Chinese investor

August 08, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Japanese carmaker Nissan is selling its entire AESC battery production activities, including all related facilities in Europe, to Chinese financial investor GSR Capital. However, Nissan will continue to purchase GSR batteries as it focusses on system development.

The planned sale includes all AESC's existing battery manufacturing sites in Smyrna, Tennessee, and Sunderland, UK. Likewise, the company’s Japan-based battery production is included in the deal. Financial terms were not published.

"This is a win-win situation for AESC and Nissan," said Nisan's chief executive, Hiroto Saikawa, "This sale will enable AESC to leverage GSR's network and GSR's global proactive investments to expand its customer base and to improve its competitiveness, thereby also improving the competitiveness of Nissan's electric vehicles business." AESC will remain an important partner for Nissan. "We will focus even more on the design and manufacture of market-leading electric vehicles," he said.

The President of GSR Capital, Sonny Wu, said: "The acquisition of AESC represents a significant step for us in the development and manufacture of vehicles with alternative drives. We plan to invest further in research and development Existing production capacities in the United States, the UK and Japan, and we want to build new plants in China and Europe, which will enable us to better serve our customers around the world." With the acquisition of AESC, GSR Capital claims to have a very good starting position in the growth market of battery technology.

To enable the sale, Nissan will initially acquire the 49% stake held by the Japanese battery company NEC to AESC. In addition, Nissan will also fully take over NEC's electrode production, which is outsourced to NEC Energy Devices. NEC announced to agree to the sale of its AESC shares in Nissan. The joint venture had established Nissan and NEC in 2007 to develop and produce particularly suitable lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles.

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