Magna International has issued a statement that it says provides ‘clarification in response to recent media reports regarding Magna’s potential future investment in battery plants’.

Magna was responding to media reports following reported remarks by Co-CEO Siegfried Wolf this week. In a story in Wednesday’s Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper, Wolf indicated that Magna is looking for two sites in North America and Europe to build two plants to manufacture batteries. In the story, Wolf is quoted as saying Magna has absolutely won enough business and that the construction of two battery plants is necessary.

In the statement today, Wolf was cautious on new business and future investment plans.

Wolf said: “We believe that the market for hybrid and electric vehicles will continue to grow and we hope to capitalize on the opportunities that such growth could provide to capable suppliers. We are reviewing with potential joint venture partners some of the opportunities available, including opportunities to supply batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.

“At this point, other than our current contract to supply battery packs to a European OEM, Magna has not been awarded any such battery business, either directly or through a potential joint venture partner. Any investment in battery manufacturing by Magna, or a potential joint venture involving Magna, would first require a number of conditions to be met, including but not limited to: sufficient market demand to justify the business case for investment, conclusion of joint venture terms with technology partners, availability of financing, commercialization of related technologies, and the settlement of customer supply terms, including pricing and warranty matters.”

Wolf was responding to media reports following an appearance he made Tuesday in Vienna. In a story in Wednesday’s Globe and Mail newspaper, Wolf indicated that Magna is looking for two sites in North America and Europe to build two plants to manufacture batteries. In the story, Wolf is quoted as saying Magna has “absolutely” won enough business that the construction of two battery plants is necessary.

Magna said in early May that it was establishing a joint venture with the Frank Stronach group to focus on electric vehicle oppportunities.