Umicore, the Belgium based major supplier to Volkswagen, reportedly had replaced its chief executive and would reassess spending plans for its battery materials business due to the industrywide slowdown in electric vehicle demand.

Bloomberg said Bart Sap, executive vice president of the supplier’s catalysis business, which makes key components for combustion engine vehicles, took over from Mathias Miedreich as CEO effective Thursday (17 May).

The report noted Miedreich had established a joint venture with VW which planned to invest EUR3bn (US$3.3bn) in new battery materials production starting next year.

An analyst said in a client note cited by Bloomberg the company had yet to deliver on any of its battery materials business objectives so the announcement “suggests a negative read-through” for operating results.

According to the report, Umicore cited slower demand growth for EV battery materials as the reason for initiating a review of the business. The company would share initial findings when it released first half results on 26 July.

Bloomberg said Miedreich, who previously worked for suppliers Forvia and Continental, also signed an agreement in 2022 for Umicore to supply EV battery materials to Automotive Cells Company, the joint venture between Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz Group.

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Last October, Umicore cut roughly a quarter of its capital expenditure budget for the four years ending in 2026, paring its spending plan to EUR3.8bn from around EUR5bn, the report noted.