LG Chem to supply hybrid car batteries to Ford: report

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SEOUL - South Korea's LG Chem Co Ltd will sell rechargeable batteries for hybrid cars to Ford Motor Co from 2012, with the annual sales estimated to reach 500 billion won ($447 million), local media said on Monday.

Exact battery sales by South Korea's No.1 chemicals company will depend on how many cars the U.S. No.2 automaker sells, the Maeil business newspaper reported, quoting a company official.

The size and condition of the deal with Ford is similar to the one with GM, the official said at the paper.

LG Chem's U.S. unit has reached a deal to supply next-generation lithium-ion batteries for General Motors' Volt plug-in.

A senior spokesman LG Chem said nothing had been decided yet.

LG Chem last year said it would invest 1 trillion won in an electric car battery plant over the next four years, aiming to derive total revenue of 2 trillion won from the battery business by 2015.

LG Chem last year also said it would set up a battery joint venture with South Korea's Hyundai Mobis Co, the car-parts making unit of Hyundai Motor Group. Hyundai Motor Co launched its first hybrid car in South Korea last July.

($1=1118.8 Won)

(Reporting by Cho Mee-young; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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