BERLIN -- Volkswagen said it will invest almost 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in battery cell production in Germany, while seeking to slim down its multibrand group.
VW will set up the battery facility in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, under a partnership, the automaker said in a statement on Monday after a supervisory board meeting.
Battery cells are a key battleground in the automotive industry as it shifts to electric mobility. Currently the industry chiefly sources its requirements from Asian companies.
VW is also seeking to simplify the group by spinning off or selling units, the company said on Monday.
VW is looking into options for its MAN Energy Solutions business, which makes large diesel engines for ships and power generators, as well as transmissions maker Renk, including joint ventures, partnerships, a full or partial sale.
Reuters reported earlier this month that VW had approached several companies to gauge their interest in buying MAN Energy Solutions, which is expected to achieve a valuation of about 3 billion euros in a potential sale.
Truck unit IPO
VW also said on Monday it plans an initial public offering of its Traton trucks unit before the 2019 summer break.
The supervisory board and board of management agreed to prepare an IPO for Traton "subject to further market developments."
In March, Volkswagen put the IPO on hold, citing market uncertainty, stalling what was expected to be Germany's biggest share offering this year. The automaker had previously said it could list up to 25 percent of Traton in a deal that was expected to raise between 5 billion and 6 billion euros.
The moves are part of Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess's efforts to slim down and simplify the group which has 12 brands, trucks, buses, motorbikes, cars and electric bicycles as part of its business.
"Given the ever greater complexity of our industry and the related challenges, it is essential to focus on our core business," Supervisory Board Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said.