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Panasonic aims to be sole producer in Tesla’s U.S. mega-factory


By Reiji Murai OSAKA (Reuters) – Panasonic Corp said it expected to become the sole manufacturer in Tesla Motors Incs planned multibillion-dollar U.S. battery factory, firming up its commitment to the electric car makers project. The Japanese electronics conglomerate had until this week made only cautious comments about Teslas plans, for which the carmaker is seeking total investment of around $3 billion in addition to the $2 billion it has pledged to contribute directly. Panasonic does not have a timeframe for a decision on its investment but any expenditure this year would be small, Yoshio Ito, senior managing executive officer and president of the Japanese firms automotive and industrial division said on Friday. He said Panasonic, which is already Teslas prime supplier for lithium-ion cells but competes with Samsung SDI Co Ltd for auto batteries, did not expect any rival battery makers to put in a competing bid.

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