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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Panasonic Says Tesla Investment Won't Be a Risky Gamble

Panasonic executives sought to allay investor concerns about the firm taking part in Tesla Motors $5 billion battery plant, saying any investment decision will be made one step at a time.

Earlier this month, the Japanese tech giant said it signed a letter of intent to participate in the construction of what the Silicon Valley electric-car maker calls "gigafactory" for assembling vehicle batteries in the U.S. But Panasonic hasn't disclosed how much it plans to invest in the plant.

With Panasonic already expanding production of batteries at factories based in Japan, one key concern is whether it will face overcapacity if it invests in the U.S. plant.

Panasonic aims to double its sales from the automotive business to $20 billion by 2019. A third of these sales would come from car batteries and other parts for fuel-efficient vehicles.

In addition to Tesla, the company has also received interest from other auto makers both in and outside of Japan, while its batteries can also be used for power-storage systems, they said.

Source: WSJ

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