Panasonic to invest JPY20 billion in lithium-ion batteries - sources
Panasonic Corp would expand its enterprise on the lithium-ion battery. In 2012, the battery business augmented Panasonic's near-record net loss. This year, it was seen as a contributing factor to the company's turnaround strategy aimed at the automakers, people with knowledge of the plans stated on Wednesday.
Panasonic recorded around USD15 billion in combined losses from the last two years. It would invest no less than JPY20 billion this year to March 2014 to increase the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries in various sizes for the auto sector, the sources said.
The investment would be a part of the JPY83 billion budget for the company's automotive and industrial network division. Panasonic would construct another production line for the company's small battery business at a plant in the Osaka area. It would also restart another line in another Osaka facility, the people said.
"We are becoming more selective with our capital spending, but we will carry out necessary investments where needed," Hideaki Kawai, Panasonic's Chief Financial Officer, told Reuters on Tuesday.