Panasonic lithium-ion battery cells
Nikkei reports that Panasonic intends to build an automotive lithium-ion battery plant in China, as a joint venture with a Chinese partner - as one needs to do (regulation/tax hurdles) to be successful in the country.
An investment of 50 billion yen ($412 million) in the northeastern city of Dalian, Liaoning Province should result in a completed factory by 2017.
The Nikkei article states that the site will make rectangular-shaped batteries for all-electric and plug-in hybrids, which we assume means more traditional automotive pouch configurations (most 2nd generation cells are switching to even a longer/thinner rectangular configuration than the originals...as they are easier to work with when packaging battery packs), a bit of a change from what the company provides Tesla today (cylindrical 18650 format). There is no energy capacity info, but the projection assumes battery sets for 200,000 cars.
Panasonic already has a lithium-ion battery facility in China for electronics, and automotive batteries would be the next logical step.
Nikkei said that Panasonic holds 45.7% of the automotive lithium-ion battery market today.