Robert Bosch, Samsung SDI and SAIC Motor are in advanced talks to produce lithium-ion batteries in China, a senior Bosch executive has confirmed.

"We are in the final stage [of talks]," Roland Ehniss told Reuters on the sidelines of the Global Automobile Forum in the southwestern city of Chengdu, adding that he hoped the venture could start production by 2012.

The partsmaker set up a 50-50 joint venture with Samsung SDI in 2008 to make hybrid electric vehicle batteries from 2010 with a minimum investment of US$500m for four to five years.

Bosch already has a 51-49 auto parts joint venture with SAIC. Under the deal being discussed, Bosch and Samsung SDI could fold some of their existing venture's manufacturing and development activities into a new China based tie-up with SAIC, the report said.

"We [will] bring the battery company to China and integrate it into our joint venture with our Chinese partner," Ehniss said. "We are talking about the [shareholding structure]."