Tesla Motors Inc Gigafactory Getting Hundreds of Panasonic Workers

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Tesla Motors Gigafactory in Nevada will get hundreds of employees from the Japanese electronics group Panasonic this fall to boost production at the plant, which is expected to start sometime next year, says a report from Reuters. Panasonic, which is venturing into sales of industrial goods and other business to bring down its dependence on the consumer electronics, partnered with Tesla to make lithium-ion batteries at the eco-car manufacturer’s Nevada Gigafactory.

Tesla CEO expected to give more details

Yoshio Lto, head of Panasonic automotive and industrial system division, said that around hundreds of people will be needed when the Gigafactory starts. Lto said, “We should actually see that starting around the autumn.” The executive further mentioned that the company will look to invest somewhere around 60 billion yen ($478 million) this fiscal year in the Gigafactory, and in its joint development project with Spanish Auto parts maker Ficossa International SA that specializes in advanced driver assistance system for blind spot detection and assisted parking.

Tesla’s Gigafactory is being built with the main objective of providing a vehicle battery with a lower price point for the company. More updates on the Tesla Gigafactory are expected during 2015 shareholders meeting scheduled for tomorrow. At the meeting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is expected to discuss Tesla’s business and field questions from shareholders.

Panasonic strengthening ties with manufacturers

In September last year, the Japanese company said that it will take around a 50% stake in Ficosa, marking its biggest strategic investment in the automotive field. Advanced driver assistance systems are a crucial step for self-driving cars, which according to analysts, will generate a new wave of investments in auto and technology industries over the next decade.

Panasonic is standing in direct competition with bigger rivals such as Germany’s Continental AG and Robert Bosch GmbH as well as Japan’s Denso Corp, which is why lto said that the company would look to expand partnerships with other manufacturers.

Lto said that Panasonic holds expertise in sensing and image processing, but it could benefit from partnering other technologies, for example, those that allow drivers to correct their course when problems are identified.

Lto said that the company has the sensors, but in the future there would be further advancements in technology enabling data retrieval data and informing the driver of problems or activating automatic controls, and in these areas the company lacks expertise.

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