View photosMoreVisitors look at Panasonic Corp's luxury brand home appliances called J concept at CEATEC Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies JAPAN 2015 in Makuhari, Japan, October 6, 2015.
REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo
TOKYO Reuters - Panasonic Corp is prepared to move up its investment plans for Tesla Motors Inc's battery plant if needed to meet strong demand for the electric car maker's upcoming Model 3 sedan, an executive at the Japanese electronics group said.
Supplier executives and industry consultants have told Reuters that the acceleration in the plans to move up the launch of high-volume production of the Model 3 to 2018 would be difficult to achieve and potentially costly.
Asked about risks of being heavily involved in Tesla's aggressive production plans, Ito said Panasonic "hopes to play a balancing act" of ensuring investment returns and filling responsibilities as a supplier.
Panasonic's partnership with Tesla is part of the Japanese company's effort to withdraw from low-margin consumer electronics products like smartphones to focus more on automotive components and other businesses targeting corporate clients.
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Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Christopher Cushing