News: Outgoing CEO says Panasonic must cut Tesla reliance as battery tie-up evolves: FT.
(Reuters) – Panasonic Corp. outgoing CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga said the company needed to reduce its heavy reliance on Tesla Inc by making the batteries more compatible with electric vehicles from other global automakers, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
“At some point we have to end our one-legged approach of relying exclusively on Tesla,” Tsuga, who will step down as CEO from April 1 after nine years, told the newspaper in an interview.
“We are entering a different phase and have to keep an eye on deliveries to manufacturers other than Tesla.”
The Japanese conglomerate announced in November that Tsuga would step down after nine years at the helm in April and that Yuki Kusumi, head of the automotive business, would take over the post.
Under Tsuga’s leadership, Panasonic has shifted its focus from low-margin consumer electronics to batteries, factory machinery and components. The company announced last month that the battery business will be profitable for Tesla this fiscal year.
Panasonic has partnered with Tesla in a $ 5 billion battery gigafactory near Reno, Nevada.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Adaptation by William Mallard
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