The Detroit News reports that China's Wanxiang Group Corporation will acquire almost all of bankrupt A123 Systems Inc. for $256 million. The deal includes all of the American battery manufacturer's grid and commercial business assets as well as the company's facilities in Michigan, Massachusetts and Missouri. Meanwhile, Woodridge, Illinois-based Navitas Systems will purchase all of A123 Systems' government contracts for $2.25 million.

Previously, Johnson Controls was a leading bidder for the bankrupt EV battery manufacturer, but that company withdrew its bids from the bankruptcy auction after declining to match Wanxiang's highest bid. But the final sale will be subject to approval by the bankruptcy court handling the case in Delaware, and some members of Congress have reportedly raised concerns over the sale.

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Michigan, said he was concerned about Wanxiang taking over A123 Systems because of the battery maker's close ties with the US Defense Department. Huizenga has been quoted as saying, "I am concerned about the government of China having access to sensitive technologies being used by our military forces."

This isn't the first time we've heard those rumblings. Back in August, several US automotive executives said Wanxiang's purchase of A123 Systems could put industry trade secrets at risk, including cutting-edge lithium-ion battery technology. Likewise, November saw US senators John Thune, R-South Dakota, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, raise concerns over the Chinese company's interest in the bankrupt battery maker.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 75 Comments
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      By the way, Wanxiangs first bid several months ago before the bankruptcy was $450M. That deal was pushed back on by the government. So the actual effect that our republican leadership has had on this process by working against Wanxiang, is to save them $200M. Well done knuckleheads. No reason for us to want an additional $200M injected into our economy.
      lad
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would like to see our Government intervene in this process; the simple fact is this is a repeat of how our trade policies and supporting law has weakened our country. Nowhere does this show up better than how we have come to depend on middle-east oil for a healthy economy. Are we going to make the same mistake in the field of electronic storage? We must stop the bleeding of intellectual property, especially knowledge that determines our future wealth and economic security.
        Electron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lad
        Mind you, if the Chinese use this technology to make themselves less dependent on oil the benefits to mankind would be invaluable, because the Chinese will literally stop at nothing to get the commodities they need.
          Val
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Electron
          You mean like putting puppet governments in the middle east, and invading those that won't play ball?
      fly by wireless
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wahhh Wahhh Wahhh The gubament lost the cost of a single fighter aircraft on a battery company. Wahhh Wahh Wahhh The gobament lost the cost of a single fighter aircraft on a solar company. Wahhh Wahh Wahh The gubament is losing orders of magnatude of these amounts of money with "defense" contract.... Oh wait.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Comet rushing toward the earth. Republican expresses concern.... I think we know how this room would react...
        bluepongo1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Finish the Cheetos& Mountain Dew carjack a Bugatti Veyron and see if Jennifer Lawrence wants to go out with a bang?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Labels are meaningless. It is the ideas that matter. And when your ideas are evolution didn't happen, climate change is a hoax, women can't get pregnant from rape, the BLS is making up numbers, FEMA is creating concentration camps, etc. . . . well, yes, you should expect some resistance.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Spec, I reported on a story out of Britain on something that is happening, and your response is, 'Sarah Palin glen beck republican party'. I provide a link and you go back to tired cliche's? If a new Stalin or Mao were to rise again and start slaughtering people, would you simply say, 'tisk tisk...republicans and their bogeyman' while millions are dying? In Britain they are intentionally killing people and you talk about Sarah Palin talking points? Dear God.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Yes, yes, I like all right wingers, believe that stuff. So tell me again how stereotyping a person is a bad thing, and how nothing is black and white, but everything is gray? Tell me again how we should celebrate diversity (as long as one dies not deviate from left wing dogma?). Now, as is my tradition, I do the thing that left wingers hate - pointing out their failures - out loud! In Britain, the National Healthcare Service (the one celebrated during e opening cere,ones of the Olympics) is now intentionally starving babies (funny, I always thought republicans wanted that). And, this is not from Fox News, so you can't immediately show the sign of the cross and hiss at the light and turn away: Sick children are being discharged from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death pathways’. Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill adults. Here is the link from the British papers: now being an open minded right winger, I won't accuse you of wanting to starve children seeing as that would be a stereotype, and that is bad. I do like the line how people are surprised that this practice goes beyond the elderly and termanally ill! Go hug your grandma, spec, if she is still alive. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2240075/Now-sick-babies-death-pathway-Doctors-haunting-testimony-reveals-children-end-life-plan.html#ixzz2DcUKj73D
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          You are really drinking the sour grape kool-aid these days. Death panels? Really? Are we reverting back to the Palin talking points? How many Americans die because they have no healthcare at all. People will die eventually under all the systems. Everyone dies eventually. Even rich children getting the best care in the world die. What is your point? Do you have one?
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @ Spec "women can't get pregnant from rape". A disturbing, but interesting are studies revealing that among populations with a high percentage of rape created pregnancies, there is a lower percentage of birth defects and a significant improvement in the immune systems of the offspring. Not a popular topic around feminists........
      Xedicon
      • 2 Years Ago
      So bummed Johnson Controls backed out. They're a killer company and I'm sure could capitalize on the IP they would receive upon ownership. Instead the sale of A123 turns into politics. Augh.
      amgordo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't worry already in the Asia Finance Times webpage they predict the deal will not get approved. A123 has too many patents and US based customers who worry about their tech info going to China. Again this deal is DOA..
      ss1591
      • 2 Years Ago
      By the time this company is taken over all the contracts will be gone plus every bit of information they had will be taken to the employee's new Jobs. GM and Ford have had so much IT stolen from them they won't share anymore information with Chinese part companies any longer.
        Val
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ss1591
        bit too late now that the cat is out of the bag....
      khn12t
      • 2 Years Ago
      all the whining comments are laughable. if this technology is so great why nobody buys em? this is stupid wasting money on this crap..
      Street King
      • 2 Years Ago
      Forget China, they are just after the patents and trademarks. Give it to Johnson Controls, they are a strong NORTH AMERICAN entitiy that will get A123 on the right track.
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      $256Million Dollars. Cheap compared the the Billions in taxpayer dollars this company received over the last several years.
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnb
        John, they recieved about $250M with an M.
        junkyard9
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnb
        Are you ignorant or intentionally stupid? They did not receive "billions." It's morons like you passing on stupid information like this that gets people riled up. "Billions"... I'm just going to assume ignorance.
          junkyard9
          • 2 Years Ago
          @junkyard9
          Yup, ignorance. Blatant, obvious, easily googleable ignorance.
      Narom
      • 2 Years Ago
      Protectionism rears its ugly head.
      Eideard
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm old enough to recall when Congress wasn't entirely populated by idiots - and the Republican Party wasn't the leading opponent of commerce.
        josephslow
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eideard
        Wow, it must be tough to get around being born in 1776 and all.
    • Load More Comments