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Panasonic says it can move up investment for Tesla battery plant if asked

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Jimmy Richmond
May 20, 2016 11:19

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.

$1 110.2200 yen

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Christopher Cushing

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Jimmy Richmond
May 20, 2016 11:19
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