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Awaiting an IRA response, Volkswagen pauses decision on eastern Europe battery plant

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FILE PHOTO: Trucks at the IAA Transportation fair in Hanover

(Reuters) – Volkswagen is pausing plans for a battery plant in eastern Europe and prioritising building a plant in North America where it expects to reap 9-10 billion euros ($10.54 billion) in subsidies, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The company was waiting for a response from Europe to the U.S. $369-billion Inflation Reduction Act package before moving ahead with its plans in the region, the newspaper reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Volkswagen board member Thomas Schmall posted on LinkedIn last week that Europe risked losing “the race for billions of investments that will be decided in coming months and years” to the attractive conditions offered by the IRA.

Under former chief executive Herbert Diess, Volkswagen said in March 2021 it would build 6 gigafactories in Europe, with Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in the running for one of them to be opened in 2027.

The company said in October last year it planned to firmly settle on a location for the plant in the first six months of 2023.

($1 = 0.9489 euros)

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Paul Carrel)

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