The first shocks of the earthquake were recorded on August 23 last year when a German delegation at the highest level led by Chancellor Schultz and CEOs of Volkswagen And Mercedes-Benz traveled to Canada to sign an agreement on the supply of battery raw materials. Indeed, for a “sustainable value chain,” Volkswagen declared. The strategic move was the first step in establishing a foothold in North America with PowerCo, the subsidiary of the world’s second largest manufacturer focused on the production of automotive batteries. By the end of the first week of January, confidential documents were released about Volkswagen’s search for a site for its first battery plant in North America, Ontario, Canada. The incentives promised by the Ottawa government played an important role.
So the new revelation, reported by the Financial Times, that the Wolfsburg Group is studying the possibility of building a plant in the US was totally unexpected. Just a few days ago, the intention arose to build a $2 billion factory in America dedicated only to the new American brand Scout (pickups and SUVs, in production from 2026)
The plant will compete with another plant planned in Eastern Europe. According to the FT, the root of the decision could be €10 billion in stimulus that could come from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the green law desired by Joe Biden that puts the US industrial ecosystem in stiff competition with that of the European.
Even VW partner Sweden’s Northvolt has spoken out in favor of immigration to the US thanks to the $369 billion maximum package of subsidies and tax incentives (Northvolt has calculated it will receive $8 billion in benefits) that has become a powerful magnet for European companies in green technology and energy. The goal is to find resources as quickly as possible to respond to the challenge of Chinese competition. Several US state governors have made real roadshows in Europe in recent months to persuade the best European companies in the renewable energy and technology sector to transfer part of their activities to the other side of the Atlantic. Threat to occupation as well.
meeting in Brussels
As for the 10 billion for Volkswagen, this figure emerged from a meeting between the German company and three European commissioners, Marosh Šifovic, Margrethe Vestager and Thierry Breton, according to a member of the board, Thomas Schmoll. City newspaper writes that Volkswagen is waiting to understand how Brussels intends to respond to Washington. Next week the European Commission is expected to publish the so-called Net Zero Industry Law as part of its response to the US zero-emissions energy program. Relaxation of government aid rules and a possible package of subsidies has not been satisfactory by the industry.
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