Bob Lutz and A123 CEO Dave Vieau

This morning at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI, General Motors Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz announced that they were promoting battery supplier A123 Systems from Tier 2 to Tier 1 supplier status. That means that A123 will effectively no longer just be a sub-contractor to other companies that do battery pack integration.

GM will now work directly with A123 systems on the development of their nano-phosphate lithium-ion battery chemistry for use in motor vehicles. A123 will still work with companies like Cobasys and Continental on pack integration for applications like the plug-in Saturn Vue hybrid and the Chevy Volt, which Lutz said he expects to be ready for sale by 2010. Check out the live blog post at AutoblogGreen as well as the announcement.