Panasonic Holdings Corporation is planning a significant expansion in its electric vehicle (EV) battery production capacity in Japan. The corporation aims to more than double its current production capacity to meet the growing demand from automotive manufacturers such as Mazda and Subaru. This announcement was made by Panasonic’s President and CEO, Yuki Kusumi, who highlighted the company’s strategic response to the declining demand from Tesla, a major customer, which previously led to a reduction in production.

As of now, Panasonic’s annual battery production capacity in Japan stands at approximately 12 GWh, in contrast to its 38 GWh capacity in the United States. The planned expansion aims to increase the Japanese capacity significantly by 2030. To achieve this, Panasonic is considering retrofitting some of its existing production lines in Japan to accommodate the manufacture of more advanced batteries required by the automotive industry.

Additionally, Panasonic is currently in discussions with Mazda and Subaru to supply cylindrical lithium-ion batteries for their electric vehicles. However, the company faces internal challenges, including departments that lack a sense of urgency and strict enforcement in meeting profitability targets. This has led to concerns about Panasonic’s ability to meet its main financial goals, such as achieving a 10% return on equity and a cumulative operating profit of 1.5 trillion yen by March 2025.

In an effort to streamline operations and focus on more profitable ventures, Panasonic has decided to sell its automotive parts subsidiary to a U.S. asset management company. The company is also reviewing the profitability of each business unit and considering further measures, including management changes or employee transfers, to improve performance.

This strategic shift in Panasonic’s operations reflects a broader industry trend towards enhancing EV battery production capabilities to cater to the increasing global shift towards electric vehicles. The company’s focus on advanced battery technology and its efforts to improve internal efficiencies are aimed at maintaining its competitive edge in the rapidly evolving EV market.

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