Published: Fri, April 12, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Panasonic Thinks Twice About Investing More Money with Tesla

Panasonic Thinks Twice About Investing More Money with Tesla

Tesla shares have dropped in recent weeks, falling by almost five percent to $263.20 per share in pre-market trading in the United States.

Tesla and Panasonic have suspended plans to expand the battery capacity production of Gigafactory 1 in Nevada amid concerns that demand for Tesla's electric vehicles may be weakening, business news outlet Nikkei Asian Review reported on Thursday, without specifying its sources.

Tesla and Panasonic both have vested interest in the success of Gigafactory, the EV automaker's dedicated battery plant. Panasonic also plans to halt investment in Tesla's battery and EV plant in Shanghai, China.

Media reports indicated that Panasonic was reportedly considering investments of up to $1.3 billion for battery production to extend the facility's capacity by 50%.

"We believe there is far more output to be gained from improving existing production equipment than there was previously estimated".

Neither company had made public detailed future development plans for the site, although Panasonic said here in July past year it would consider further investment in the Gigafactory if requested by the USA electric carmaker. "Both Tesla and Panasonic continue to invest substantial funds into Gigafactory".

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"Watching the demand situation, Panasonic will study additional investments over 35 GWh in collaboration with Tesla".

Panasonic likely wants to gauge long term demand for Tesla's highest volume vehicle, the Model 3 now that the list of pre-orders has been fulfilled, which makes sense given the Gigafactory is able to supply 500,000 battery packs per year and Tesla sold 245,000 vehicles in total in 2018.

Tesla shares finished the day down 2.8 percent, at $268.42.

Lower-than-expected vehicle deliveries by Tesla in the first quarter spooked stock and bond investors earlier this month, adding to Wall Street's concerns about its future cashflow.

Tesla has recently defended poor vehicle delivery figures stating in a press release: "We had only delivered half of the entire quarter's numbers by March 21, ten days before end of quarter".

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