Cobasys Crisis Has GM Buying Batteries From Toyota

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

GM may soon be feeling some of Chrysler's pain over bankrupt suppliers. The CarConnection reports Cobasys, supplier of the NiMH batteries used in the light-hybrid Vue, Aura and Malibu and holder of "a key contract in the development of GM's much-anticipated plug-in hybrid, the Volt," is out of money. The battery maker lost more than $76m last year and expect to lose $82m this year. To make matters worse, the company's joint owners, Chevron and ECD, can't agree on the 2008 budget. So Cobays' operating budget is $92m short. Cobasys is now on GM's "distressed supplier list;" the General refuses to comment on the situation. In the meantime, GM has struck a deal to buy batteries for its two-mode hybrid trucks from a Panasonic – Toyota joint venture.

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  • Cammy Corrigan Cammy Corrigan on Feb 27, 2008

    Whereas the GM death spiral continues!

  • Brendan Brendan on Feb 27, 2008

    Wakka wakka wakka! Why in the world would GM trust a battery manufacturer with an oil conglomerate as an owner? I mean even if you discount Big Oil dirty tricks, it sounds like the division where an oligarch would install his idiot playboy son.

  • Rm Rm on Feb 27, 2008

    Perhaps it's because the business used to be called GM Ovonic before GM sold its share off to Texaco (now Chevron). ECD has (had?) a business called Ovonic Battery Corp that provided the NiMH technology for the joint venture. No big oil conspiracy, just a business that has had problems since day 1 when they were going to supply NiMH batteries for the EV1 (hence GM's involvement).

  • Shaker Shaker on Feb 28, 2008

    I think that all "green tech" should be owned by oil companies. That way, we'll not rush headlong into uncontrolled increases in efficiency, which could upset our delicate economy.