“He’s in no position to say something like that,” said a Panasonic executive.
Tesla’s production has gone through “a speedy setup when viewed from a long-term perspective,” Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga said at Thursday’s earnings conference.
But the company remains hesitant to commit to further investment with the electric car maker. That caution stems in part from Panasonic’s stinging experience with plasma displays, in which it invested about 500 billion yen for building factories and other expenses before the technology ultimately lost out to liquid crystal displays. Tsuga himself pulled the plug on the plasma business.
Panasonic is also gearing up for an investment war with Chinese electric car battery rivals. In particular, Fujian-based Contemporary Amperex Tecnhology — or CATL — is spending large sums to rapidly add production capacity, aiming to topple Panasonic by securing business with international automakers on the strength of its low costs.