SCHWALBACH, Germany-Siemens VDO Automotive Corp. is acquiring the electric drive company Ballard Power Systems Corp., a subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems Inc. (Burnaby, Canada). Ballard Power Systems Corp., which is based in Dearborn, MI, specializes in the manufacture of electric drive technology for fuel cell vehicles and employs about 80 people.

"This acquisition elevates Siemens VDO's hybrid business to a new dimension, thereby securing a more competitive position for the company and its employees," says Siemens VDO Group Vice President, Dr. Klaus Egger. According to Egger, the Dearborn facility will serve as Siemens’ North American research center for power electronics, motor design and systems for electrical drives for hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, a market he estimates will total $14 billion worldwide by 2015.

"By becoming part of Siemens VDO, a recognized world leader in automotive electronics, this acquisition will place us in a better position to capitalize on new business opportunities in…the global hybrid electric vehicle market," he says.

Siemens VDO Automotive, a subsidiary of Siemens AG (Munich, Germany) is a leading supplier of electronics and mechatronics for the automotive industry, with sales in 2006 of approximately $13 billion in 2006.