Published On:February 21 2024
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"JSW Group and Volkswagen Initiate Talks for Electric Vehicle Joint Venture"

The JSW Group has initiated discussions with Volkswagen AG, a prominent German automobile manufacturer, regarding the provision of technology and components for its ambitious Rs 40,000 crore electric vehicle (EV) project in Odisha.

These talks with JSW come shortly after Volkswagen announced its intention to supply components for EVs and battery cells to Mahindra & Mahindra. Mahindra plans to introduce electric sport-utility vehicles by December, utilizing components from Volkswagen’s MEB platform and unified cells.

Sources close to the development revealed that a high-level team from Volkswagen AG conducted a presentation for JSW Group's leadership, including Chairman Sajjan Jindal and scion Parth Jindal, showcasing the technology developed by the German automaker.

It's worth noting that the JSW Group's EV project is being spearheaded by private entities within the Jindal family and does not involve any listed entities. The group also expressed intentions to consider inviting financial investors for future projects.

When approached for comments, both Volkswagen Group and Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private (SAVWIPL) spokespersons refrained from making any official statements on market rumors and speculation.

Additionally, the JSW Group has recently signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with MG Motor, a company owned by SAIC Motor Corp of China, to acquire a 35% stake for manufacturing electric cars. Due diligence for this project is currently underway, with JSW officials inspecting MG Motors’ facility in Halol, Gujarat.

The Odisha project entails a comprehensive setup including a 50 GWh EV battery plant, EV manufacturing, a lithium refinery, a copper smelter, and manufacturing of related components. It aims to produce both commercial vehicles and passenger cars.

"We aim to revolutionize the transportation landscape and power solutions by enhancing EV adoption," commented Sajjan Jindal in an email to a leading newspaper.

Industry estimates suggest a price difference of nearly 30% between electric cars and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The JSW Group intends to bridge this gap, aiming to price its electric cars at around Rs 20 lakh.

Despite India's relatively lower EV sales compared to China, with just over 100,000 units sold in 2023, there's a growing momentum towards electric mobility in the country. Maruti Suzuki India, Tata Motors, and Mahindra & Mahindra are among the key players gearing up to penetrate the EV market.

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