Chinese company wins battery maker auction

DETROIT — Wanxiang Group, a large Chinese auto parts maker, won a high-stakes auction Sunday for assets of A123 Systems, the bankrupt U.S. battery maker that was a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s loan program for electric vehicles.

A123, which filed for bankruptcy in October after chronic losses and a damaging battery recall, said Wanxiang agreed to pay $256 million for its automotive and commercial operations, including its three factories in the United States.

But the sale excludes A123’s business with the U.S. government and its military contracts. That portion of the company will be sold to Navitas Systems, a small energy company based in Illinois, for $2.2 million.

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