Toyota and Panasonic in automotive prismatic batteries JV

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Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic Corporation have signed a business integration contract and a joint-venture contract for the establishment of a new company related to the automotive prismatic battery business, pending approval from the competition law authorities, by the end of 2020.

The ratio of equity participation in the 3,500-employee strong JV will be 51% for Toyota and 49% for Panasonic. Its business operations will range from R&D, production engineering, manufacturing, procurement and order receipt, to management related to automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries and next-generation batteries.

Toyota will provide equipment and personnel to the JV in development and production engineering related to battery cells. Panasonic will share equipment, other assets, liabilities, personnel, and other items in development, production engineering, manufacturing (at plants in Japan and in Dalian, China), procurement, order receipt, and management functions related to the automotive prismatic battery business. In addition to establishing a high-quality, low-cost, stable supply structure, the two companies plan to leverage merits of scale related to procurement and manufacturing costs.

The JV will integrate management and other resources from the two companies. Toyota is to contribute know-how and market data related to electrified vehicles, advanced technologies related to solid-state batteries, and manufacturing capabilities. Panasonic, meanwhile, will contribute: technologies related to high-capacity and high-output batteries that are high-quality and extremely safe; mass-production technologies; and a customer base in Japan and beyond.

Toyota executive vice president Shigeki Terashi said, “Together with Panasonic, we want to hone our competitiveness in batteries, which represent one of the core technologies of electrified vehicles. We have high expectations for the new company, including – as we aim to deliver ever-better electrified vehicles to even more customers – its role in fulfilling our plans for the popularization of electrified vehicles – including achieving Toyota annual global sales of more than 5.5 million units, which we announced at the end of 2017.”

Panasonic senior managing executive officer Masahisa Shibata said: “Uniting with Toyota’s battery and production engineering technologies provides us with an excellent opportunity to evolve, faster than ever, our automotive prismatic batteries, which have an established track record of performance and safety.”

Products made by the JV will be sold to various auto makers through Panasonic.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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