Monday, June 16, 2008

Sanyo May Develop Lithium-Ion Batteries with Ford and Honda Motor

Tokyo, June 17, 2008 (Jiji Press) - Sanyo Electric Co. <6764> may jointly develop lithium-ion batteries for next-generation hybrid vehicles with Honda Motor Co. <7267> and Ford Motor Co., Sanyo President Seiichiro Sano has said.

In a recent interview, Sano said Sanyo may develop such batteries jointly with Honda and Ford if the products serve the needs of the Japanese and U.S. automakers.

Sanyo recently agreed on joint lithium-ion battery development with German automaker Volkswagen AG. The Japanese firm currently supplies nickel-metal hydride batteries to Honda and Ford for vehicles sold in the North American market.

Sanyo will have to team up with a wide range of Japanese and foreign automakers to achieve its target of raising its share of the global lithium-ion battery market to at least 40 pct by 2015, the president said.

Asked about another company goal, doubling overseas sales at its solar cell business, Sano said Sanyo has already started personnel training and other tie-ups with academic and other institutes in Hungary, where it has a key manufacturing base.

Sanyo may consider joint development projects, but any such moves may come after the Hungarian tie-ups produce concrete results, he said.

The firm's white goods business is in a severe situation, but the division will become profitable if necessary steps in selection and concentration are taken and its product planning capability is enhanced, Sano said.


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