Nissan sells its battery production activity
The Japanese Group Nissan has announced on Tuesday that it is selling its battery production activity Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) to the Chinese investment fund GSR Capital.
“This sale will allow AESC to take advantage of the vast network and investments of GSR to extend its number of clients and enhance the competitively of Nissan in the electric domain”, explains Hiroto Saikawa CEO of Nissan, “AESC will stay an important partner of Nissan”.
The Japanese car maker was a pioneer when creating AESC in 2007 or three years before the release of its first electric car, the Leaf. AESC has three R&D centres and production units in Japan, USA and UK and Nissan guarantied that jobs will be maintained.
The car maker will first have to buy back the 49% of shares held by partner NEC to then sell the whole package to GSR Capital. According to Bloomberg, the sales price orbits around 1 billion dollar but that claim wasn’t confirmed officially.
30% of the cost
Today, batteries represent about 30% of the electric car cost, but this part could increase in the future. It is the reason why Nissan decided to create its joint venture with NEC and why Tesla is building its Gigafactory in partnership with Panasonic.
But, this strategy isn’t the only one. Renault, part of the Renault-Nissan alliance, has decided to get its cells from Korean manufacturer LG. The French car maker keeps the assembly, cooling system and the connections in-house. It is a way to reduce investments costs.
This strategy makes sense judged by the current modest part of battery powered electric vehicles on today’s market. As a guide, Nissan has sold 50.000 Leafs in 2016 for 5,56 millions convectional cars in total.