BMW to spend $237 million on battery cell center

A BMW logo is seen on a car at the International Auto Show in Mexico City, Mexico November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - BMW will bundle its battery cell expertise in a new competence center, the German luxury carmaker said on Friday, adding it would invest 200 million euros ($237 million) in the site over the next four years.

"By producing battery-cell prototypes, we can analyse and fully understand the cell's value-creation processes. With this build-to-print expertise, we can enable potential suppliers to produce cells to our specifications," BMW board member Oliver Zipse said in a statement.

"The knowledge we gain is very important to us, regardless of whether we produce the battery cells ourselves, or not."

The center will open in early 2019, BMW said.

($1 = 0.8435 euros)

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz)