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PHOTO CAPTION: SAIC E1 electric concept car.

SAIC Picks A123 for 2012 Electric Car

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp will incorporate cells into custom battery pack.

Published: 14-Nov-2010

One of China’s largest automakers has tapped Massachusetts-based A123 Systems to supply lithium-ion batteries for an electric car slated to roll out in 2012. A123, a poster child of government efforts to jump-start a U.S. advanced battery industry, announced the deal on Tuesday, amidst reporting disappointing earnings for the three months ending September 30.

A123 reported a loss of $43.7 million in the third quarter of this year, substantially more than the $22.8 million loss posted in the same period a year earlier. In addition, the company’s operating expenses climbed to $41.1 million for the quarter, nearly double the $20.8 million reported for the year-earlier period.

A123 posted $26.2 million in revenue for the most recent quarter, compared to $23.5 million in the third quarter of 2009. For 2010 annual revenue, the company lowered its guidance by $20 million to $100 million — mostly because transportation customers have bumped their production ramp-ups to the second quarter of 2011, instead of the end of 2010, executives said in a call with shareholders yesterday. The company noted that the customers are not shifting their timelines due to changes in demand forecasts, but rather because it’s taking longer than expected to get their vehicles ready for production.

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