Overall, the automotive cylindrical battery business is profitable.
After a really challenging second quarter of 2020, the third quarter turned out to be relatively good for Panasonic. Despite the company noting a noticeable 15% decrease of revenues, profits and net income improved year-over-year.
To us, the most important thing is that the EV battery business is expanding and delivers profits.
Panasonic Q3 2020 results
Let's take a look at the general results first:
- Sales: 1,667 billion yen ($16.0 billion) - down 15% year-over-year
- Operating profit: 92.8 billion yen ($890 million) - up 11% year-over-year
- Net profit: 58.7 billion yen ($560 million) - up 15% year-over-year
Our focus is on the Automotive category, which includes lithium-ion batteries for xEVs. The overall result was 3% lower than a year ago, but the sales of automotive batteries increased and the segment was profitable.
- Sales: 358.5 billion yen ($3.44 billion) - down 3% year-over-year
- Operating profit: 5.1 billion yen ($49 million); operating margin of 1.4%
The Automotive Batteries subcategory shows increased sales, lowered costs and overall profitability of cylindrical battery business (both at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada and in Japan).
Panasonic supplies Tesla with:
- 21700 cylindrical cell type for the Model 3/Model Y (produced at the Gigafactory 3 in Nevada)
- 18650 cylindrical cell type for the Model S/Model X (imported from Japan to the U.S.)
Unfortunately, as usual, there are no details about the xEV battery business unit, but we are optimistic about the future of electrification.