Panasonic Corporation (TYO:6752), which is headquartered in Osaka, Japan, already has a working business relationship with Tesla helping them with self-driving technology and batteries.
The Japanese conglomerate, best known for their television sets and other electronics items, has in recent years shifted their focus from their core sector to the automotive business because the margins in consumer goods have become typically low. Business rivals from countries such as China have diminished the dominance that Panasonic once used to enjoy.
Kazuhiro Tsuga, the Chief Executive said on Thursday, they are now ready to expand their partnership with the electric car maker and work more deeply with the Elon Musk led business. “We are deeply interested in Tesla’s self-driving system. We are hoping to expand our collaboration by jointly developing devices for that, such as sensors”.
The Panasonic-Tesla Gigafactory
In July 2014, Panasonic entered into an agreement with Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) for a huge battery plant, called the Gigafactory, which is expected to come up in south western United States by 2020. Tesla wants to build this $5 billion plant, employing 6500 workers, to bring down their battery costs by as much as 30 percent. Currently, Tesla is searching for the right site for the factory in the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, California, and Nevada.
In fact, there are reports that there could be a second Gigafactory coming up somewhere in Europe in the 2020s.
Areas Where Panasonic Corporation Can Collaborate With Tesla
But the Japanese business has already started their work with Tesla Motors on researching and producing lithium-ion batteries. Panasonic now wants to add the research and development also into navigation systems and cockpit displays. For this segment, Panasonic wants to achieve annual sales of $17.43 billion in 2019, which is about 50 percent more than what they achieved in March 2016.
Panasonic may also work in heads-up display, with growing speculation that the line-up of Tesla may soon feature this technology, particularly their Model 3. Another candidate could be the organic photoconductive film CMOS image sensors, which Panasonic is currently developing. These advanced sensors allow sensing moving objects at high speeds without any distortion.
There are other areas too where the two are working closely already, such as solar energy. Panasonic (TYO:6752) announced last month they will be investing more than 30 billion yen of a factory of Tesla to make photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules.