Panasonic Expects To Be Sole Battery Cell Producer At Tesla Giga Factory
According to Reuters, Panasonic expects no competing bid from a battery manufacturer fro Tesla’s giga factory:
“…Panasonic, which is already Tesla’s prime supplier for lithium-ion cells but competes with Samsung SDI Co Ltd for auto batteries, did not expect any rival battery makers to put in a competing bid.”
Yoshio Ito, senior managing executive officer and president of Panasonic’s automotive and industrial division is the source for this intel. According to Ito, Panasonic expects to become the sole cell manufacturer at Tesla’s giga factory.
Ito adds that Panasonic is discussing the details of its investment and construction of the giga factory with Tesla Motors, so it seems like some serious progress is being made.
Panasonic, in being rather tight on cash, is leery, but seems willing to move forward. Per Reuters:
“…there was a possibility Panasonic would not contribute the majority of the remaining investment even if it became the sole manufacturer at the factory.”
“Ito also said that Panasonic would spend more than 28 billion yen ($275 million) on auto batteries this year, twice its current budget, with the bulk going towards bumping up domestic production of the small lithium-ion batteries Panasonic supplies to Tesla.”
The bulk of Panasonic’s revenue comes from its battery division, so it would seem wise for Panasonic to invest more heavily in that area. That seems to be Panasonic’s intent:
“Panasonic is aiming to be the No. 1 producer of auto batteries by the year ending March 2019, by when it hopes to be making annual revenue of 450 billion yen ($4.43 billion), up from the 130 billion yen it made in the last business year.”
So, it just seems Panasonic is being cautious, but is moving forward on the Tesla giga factory deal.