Outgoing CEO says Panasonic must cut Tesla reliance as battery tie-up evolves -FT


Posted at Mar 15 2021 08:35 AM

Outgoing CEO says Panasonic must cut Tesla reliance as battery tie-up evolves -FT 1
Motorists drive past Tesla's primary vehicle factory after CEO Elon Musk announced he was defying local officials' restrictions against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by reopening the plant in Fremont, California, U.S. May 12, 2020. Stephen Lam,Reuters/File Photo

Panasonic Corp's outgoing Chief Executive Kazuhiro Tsuga said the company will need to reduce its heavy reliance on Tesla Inc by making batteries more compatible with electric vehicles from other global carmakers, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

"At some point, we need to graduate from our one-legged approach of relying solely on Tesla," Tsuga, who will step down after 9 years as CEO from April 1, told the newspaper in an interview.

"We are entering a different phase and we need to keep an eye on supplying manufacturers other than Tesla."

The Japanese conglomerate announced in November that Tsuga would step down in April after 9 years at the helm and that Yuki Kusumi, the head of its automotive business, would take over.

Under Tsuga's leadership, Panasonic has shifted its focus away from low-margin consumer electronics to batteries, factory machines and components. The company said last month it expects its battery business supplying Tesla to be profitable this fiscal year.

Panasonic has partnered with Tesla in a $5 billion battery "gigafactory" near Reno, Nevada.


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