Panasonic CEO says the company may partner Tesla again for Gigafactory in China
In a disclosure at Japanese battery manufacturer Panasonic’s recent earnings call, CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga said that the company can potentially enter into a partnership with US electric vehicle maker Tesla for building a Gigafactory in China.
The move hinted by Tsuga would mark progress in the existing association between Panasonic and Tesla, especially with both the companies having worked together on massive manufacturing projects in the past.
Panasonic-manufactured battery cells have been long in use by Tesla for its electric vehicles (EVs). With a large part of Panasonic’s battery cell sales coming from Tesla, the operating profit of Panasonic is projected to record an 11.7 percent increase to 425 billion yen ($3.87 billion) over the next one year.
Panasonic had teamed up with Tesla in 2013 for the construction of the Tesla Gigafactory 1 located in Nevada. At that Gigafactory, Panasonic produces battery cells for the Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle.
In addition, Panasonic was also contracted by Tesla for handling the production of solar cells and modules at Gigafactory 2 located in Buffalo.
With Panasonic already having a significant involvement in Tesla’s EV manufacturing effort, Tsuga hinted at a possible team-up between the two companies for Tesla’s planned Gigafactory in China, and said: “As already reported, Tesla could in the future launch full-fledged production in China – and we could produce jointly.”
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