Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) and Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY) have agreed to establish a joint venture by the end of 2020 to make electric vehicle batteries. The deal has been in the works since 2017. Upon approval from competition-law authorities, Toyota will own 51% of the joint venture and Panasonic will own 49%.
Leaders of both companies have stressed environmental awareness as a major focus of the joint venture. “Together with Panasonic, we want to hone our competitiveness in batteries, which represent one of the core technologies of electrified vehicles. By contributing to the popularization of Toyota’s and other automakers’ electrified vehicles, we want to help find solutions to issues such as global warming, environment-related challenges, and energy-related challenged,” said Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi.
Business operations will include research, development, production engineering, manufacturing, procurement, order receipt and management related to EV batteries. Both Toyota and Panasonic will transfer equipment, personnel and other assets to the joint venture. Toyota will contribute market data related to electric vehicles and advanced technologies related to EV batteries. Panasonic said it will contribute mass-production technologies and a customer base in both Japan and overseas. The two Companies will transfer a total of 3,500 employees.
“Uniting with Toyota’s battery and production-engineering technologies provides us an excellent opportunity for being able to evolve our automotive prismatic batteries, which have an established track record of performance and safety, faster than ever,” Panasonic Senior Managing Executive Officer Masahisa Shibata said, “Through the electrification of vehicles, we want to accelerate our contribution to the realization of a society of mobility that is kind to the environment.”