Friday, June 06, 2008

Toyota-Matsushita JV to Build Auto Battery Plant in Northern Japan

Nagoya, May 27, 2008 (Jiji Press) - Panasonic EV Energy Co. said Tuesday that it will spend about 30 billion yen to build a plant in northeastern Japan to make nickel-metal hydride batteries for hybrid vehicles.

The new plant, to be located in the town of Taiwa in Miyagi Prefecture, will start operating in early 2010, said the joint venture between Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. <6752>.

Panasonic EV Energy will also expand its existing battery plant in Kosai in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, where the company has its head office.

Through the measures, the firm hopes to double its annual battery production to some one million units in 2010.

The firm also hopes to start mass production of next-generation lithium-ion batteries at an early date.

Panasonic EV, owned 60 pct by Toyota and 40 pct by Matsushita, is strengthening its production capacity as Toyota aims to increase its annual hybrid vehicle sales to one million units by the early 2010s.

JCN.

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