Panasonic Lost 12% Due To Battery Loss, Tesla Still Wants To Reduce The Cost By 20%

- Nov 19, 2019-

According to Reuters news, Matsushita Electric Co., Ltd. (6752.T) announced its earnings report on Thursday, its operating profit fell 12% in the second quarter, and was affected by the continued economic downturn caused by the Sino-US trade war, with Tesla's The battery business continued to suffer losses.

However, the Japanese electronics company’s July-September quarter revenue was 83.9 billion yen ($770.62 million or 5.47 billion yuan), 33% higher than the average estimate of the Ruffinitiv survey analysts, thanks to The lucrative profits of its housing and household appliances business. A year ago, Panasonic, the exclusive battery supplier for Tesla, had revenues of 95.2 billion yen.

Panasonic’s chief financial officer, Hirokazu Umeda, said at a earnings briefing on Thursday: “We (a joint venture with Tesla) are rapidly increasing battery production, but productivity gains have been delayed.” But Umeda said. The joint venture company still plans to start profiting at the end of the fiscal year ending March 31. "Tesla announced profits in the latest financial report, which is positive for us."

Tesla’s quarterly profit announced last week surprised investors and boosted share prices. Panasonic's auto business, including power batteries, lost $12.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, compared with a loss of 7.1 billion yen in the same period last year. However, Panasonic's fiscal year 2020 earnings are expected to remain at 300 billion yen, while the average estimate of 19 analysts is 293.94 billion.

Panasonic has shifted its focus from low-margin consumer electronics to bet on businesses that sell products to automakers and automated processing companies. But this shift failed to boost profits. In addition, the Sino-US trade war has hit industrial procurement and output, and the global auto market is shrinking.

Tesla has not yet shown a trend of continued profitability. Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga admitted that he underestimated the development costs of auto parts and the risks associated with Tesla. Although Jin Heyihong promised to use the company's expertise in various industries to provide "solution services" to corporate customers, he has not specified what the specific content of this growth strategy is.

Jinhe Yihong is expected to hold a strategic briefing on November 22nd, when more news may be released.

In addition, Panasonic has been actively recruiting executives from overseas technology companies such as software giants SAP and Microsoft (MSFT.O) to incite the traditional conservative culture of this 101-year-old company. The company this month, Matsushita also appointed Google vice president, robotics and artificial intelligence experts Yokoy Matsuko (YokyMatsuoka) as an executive team member.

It is reported that YokyMatsuoka can be regarded as a pioneer of robotics. In 2009, she co-founded Google Labs GoogleXlab with Google, and then joined the Bird's Nest design team to become the technical leader, and she was involved in inventing a realistic Robot hand. After returning to NestLabs of Google's Alphabet, she continued to be responsible for smart homes.

However, for Panasonic's joint venture partner Tesla, how to reduce the cost of the battery is the consideration of Musk.

Profitability is a top priority for Tesla CEO Musk. Under his leadership, Tesla is extremely strict with cost control. In various ways, he exerted pressure on Jinhe Yihong to lower his price, and the relationship between Panasonic and Tesla was on the verge of breaking. Especially in the acquisition of supercapacitor manufacturer Maxwell, and the Canadian battery production line equipment manufacturer Haiba HibarSystem, its self-produced battery situation has become inevitable.

In the last article of the reporter, "The mourning of Panasonic", Tesla's "Independence" has already clearly explained the things to come. On the other hand, Musk, who is unwilling to be subject to people, will consider self-produced batteries. Just like he developed the self-driving chip FSD, cost saving is the biggest driving force.

According to the background of the mechanical engineer with Honeywell's gas turbine power plant performance modeling and data analysis background, George Bower, editor of INSIDEEVs, "the Tesla new battery production line can save about 20% of the cost."

So, we can understand why Musk is going to buy two battery companies. George Bower pointed out that Maxwell's new solvent-free dry electrode manufacturing process has contributed to an increase in line speed (productivity), giving Tesla a 20% cost reduction capability.

Maxwell's dry electrode process can increase the capacity density by 16 times, which is 10%-20% lower than the existing wet electrode technology. GeorgeBower only calculates the cost by 20% based on 4 times the estimated cost. Still very big.

However, if you abandon the partner Panasonic, Tesla will have full responsibility for the battery's profit and loss, because we do not know how much Panasonic charges Tesla, but from the current situation of Panasonic's loss of money in Tesla's project, the cost should be Muske was pressed very low.

In addition, Tesla recently applied for a patent. The new patent coincides with the CPT (celltopack) technology of Ningde era, which means that the battery cells are directly integrated into the battery sub-module. These sub-modules can be connected in series and parallel to produce batteries of various sizes like building blocks. Tesla uses a large number of boards to integrate cells and battery packs. However, the feasibility of this technology is still controversial in the industry, and there is still a distance from the actual mass production.

UBS pointed out in a report that Tesla's current battery cost is $ 141 / kWh. Based on George Bower's calculations, Tesla's new battery pack will cost $117.5/kWh after a 20% reduction in cost. However, it is unclear when Tesla's self-produced battery using dry battery electrode technology will land. If all this becomes a reality, Tesla will be ahead of other companies in terms of battery cost.发送反馈历史记录