BERLIN/MUNICH -- BMW is not showing much enthusiasm to get on board with a German government push to establish battery cell production in Europe, slowing a plan to create an industry that keeps pace with Asian rivals and get on the front foot on elusive climate goals.
"I don't believe it makes sense for every carmaker to make their own cells," BMW's Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Munich Tuesday. The company is happy to join a consortium or work with existing producers, but does not see the need to go beyond that, he said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel held a three-hour meeting with the heads of BMW, Volkswagen Group and Daimler on Monday in Berlin to redouble efforts to boost electric car adoption. The discussion ended without concrete results, adding to a sense of slow motion on the switch to cleaner vehicles.
While BMW is hesitating, VW in May selected Northvolt as its partner to start production of battery cells in Germany with an investment of almost 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).
BMW owns a stake in Northvolt alongside VW, which it plans to raise in the near future, while staying below VW.
A plan by Germany and France to establish an "Airbus" of battery-cell production in Europe is struggling on concerns existing Asian producers are better positioned to lower the costs of the key electric-car product.