UPDATE 1-Bosch decides against own battery cell production

* Says investment for own production would be too risky

* To halt own research into cell technologies

* To continue to work with cell suppliers to design cells (Adds quote, plans for own research, background)

BERLIN, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Germany's Robert Bosch, the world's biggest automotive supplier, has decided against producing its own battery cells, saying the billions of euros of investment was too risky.

The decision is a blow to European politicians and car manufacturers who have called for companies to band together to create a regional battery cell producer to compete with Asian players such as Samsung and Panasonic.

"Given dynamic external market factors that can only be predicted with difficulty, it is unclear whether this investment would pay off for Bosch, and when," Bosch said in a statement on Wednesday.

While European companies assemble battery packs for electric cars, the region has no significant player in battery cells - the essential building blocks for the batteries that are currently mostly manufactured in Asia.

Bosch said it would continue to work with cell suppliers to design cells for hybrid- and electric-vehicle batteries, and buy these cells from them.

"To be a significant player in electric mobility we don't need to produce the cells by ourselves," Rolf Bulander, head of mobility solutions at Bosch said on a conference call.

It said it was therefore halting its research into cell technologies and dissolving the Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG (LEAP) joint venture for lithium-ion technology. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer Writing by Maria Sheahan Editing by Arno Schuetze and Mark Potter)