The partnership between Panasonic Corporation and Tesla is set to continue for the foreseeable future, based on comments recently made by the company’s President Kazuhiro Tsuga at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The company will reportedly be putting up to $1.6 billion into the “Gigafactory” being developed in concert with the noted electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, according to Tsuga.
Considering that total project development costs for the Gigafactory are expected to be somewhere around $4–5 billion, the chunk being fronted by Panasonic is really quite significant — showcasing how serious the Japanese company takes Tesla’s goals/projections.
“We are sort of waiting on the demand from Tesla,” stated Tsuga. “If Tesla succeeds and the electric vehicle becomes mainstream, the world will be changed and we will have lots of opportunity to grow.”
Market Watch provides more:
The battery investment is one element of Osaka-based Panasonic’s drive to become a major auto parts supplier, taking advantage of the computerization of the automobile and forecasts for robust global demand for light vehicles in coming decades. While its trade show exhibit still features lots of TVs and cameras, it also showcased its advanced electronics for cars and the home. Mr Tsuga is counting on the proliferation of the small screens in automobiles, for instance, to make up for the slowdown in traditional TVs.
“The car is changing,” he said. “It is getting to be an electrical object. We have those technologies, so I thought ‘we need to shift our resources to automotive’.”
Panasonic’s sales to auto makers are expected to nearly double over the next four years. This fiscal year, it is expected to contribute Yen1.3 trillion ($11 billion), about 15% of the company’s revenue, but will grow to nearly 25% of revenue by the end of the decade. Panasonic aims to increase annual revenue to Yen10 trillion by its fiscal year ending in March 2019. That is up from roughly Yen8 trillion for its fiscal year ending in March.
Big plans. As Tesla’s are as well — the company is aiming for sales of 500,000 vehicles a year by 2020 after all. No wonder the two companies have developed what seems like such a solid partnership. These two corporations are some of the only major companies taking the transition to electric vehicles very seriously.
(Tip of the hat here to “FlasherZ” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for sharing this news.)