Panasonic’s chief financial officer said the company is seeing strong demand for battery cells from US partner Tesla and they are in talks to expand their joint plant in Nevada, which is now profitable.
The positive outlook comes after production troubles and delays at Tesla strained the company’s partnership with Panasonic over the past few years. Panasonic recently lost its status as Tesla’s exclusive battery supplier, but has been able to turn around the US joint battery business as demand for Tesla’s electric cars soar, Business Insider reported.
Last month, Tesla reported its third consecutive quarterly profit despite the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, taking investors by surprise.
Panasonic did not issue an earnings forecast for the current year due to uncertainty about the impact of the virus, joining a number of Japanese electronics companies, including Sony and Canon, in refraining from providing outlooks.
According to Business Insider, the company has been cautious about expanding its partnership with Tesla, as its $1.6 billion investment in the Nevada factory, which began construction in 2014, failed to produce solid returns. It did not make a profit until the October-December quarter of last year.