LG Chem to supply electric car batteries to SAIC, Qoros

SEOUL, June 15 Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:00pm EDT

SEOUL, June 15 (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Chem Ltd said it has secured orders to supply electric vehicle (EV) batteries to China's SAIC Motor Corp and Qoros, betting on the world's biggest car market to revive the sluggish growth of EVs globally.

LG Chem did not disclose details of the deals, but said the contracts would increase the total number of its Chinese customers to four, which have ordered batteries for more than 100,000 EV vehicles and would lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue once production begins.

LG Chem, which has factories in the United States and Korea, also said it plans to build a joint venture in China in the second half of this year to produce EV batteries to cope with growing demand in the region.

"We are in the final process of deciding our JV partner in China and once the decision is made, we plan to pick the site after discussions," LG Chem said in a statement.

The move comes as automakers are rushing to introduce new EVs in China, driven by the government's plan to put 500,000 EVs on the road by 2015 and 5 million by 2020.

LG Chem made headlines in 2009 by winning a supply deal for General Motors' Volt EVs, followed by a flurry of deals with Renault and other automakers. But sales of many EVs have fail to live up to their expectations, pushing LG Chem's car battery business in the red.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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