Volkswagen open to joining German battery cell consortium - source

FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen logos are pictured during the media day of the Salao do Automovel International Auto Show in Sao Paulo, Brazil November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE is open to joining a German consortium exploring production of electric car battery cells and will discuss the matter at a supervisory board meeting on Friday, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment.

Volkswagen has already awarded multibillion-euro battery cell supply contracts to LG Chem 051910.KS and China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. 300750.SZ, but Chief Executive Herbert Diess has said Germany should wean itself off a dependence on Asian suppliers.

The German government is coordinating efforts to form a multi-company consortium designed to do just that.

Companies involved in talks with Economy Minister Peter Altmaier about building a factory include German battery maker VARTA Microbattery VAR1.DE, chemical giant BASF BASFn.DE and Ford's F.N German subsidiary Ford-Werke GmbH, three people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

South Korea's LG Chem 051910.KS is already supplying some German carmakers with electric vehicle batteries made in Poland, while Samsung SDI Co 006400.KS and SK Innovation are planning factories in Hungary.

Reporting by Jan Schwartz; writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Kathrin Jones and Mark Potter