Demand for “solar shingles” was lower than expected.
Panasonic is considering withdrawing from a solar panel joint venture at Tesla in the United States. This was reported by Reuters with reference to informants who “have a direct idea” of the situation.
The Japanese electronics manufacturer is motivated by this desire to get rid of unprofitable enterprises in the conditions when its strategy of transition from the production of consumer electronics to the production of components has not yet led to an increase in profit.
Tesla’s solar panel plans are being revised due to a sharp decline in sales. As you know, this line of business appeared at Tesla in 2016 with the acquisition of SolarCity for $ 2.6 billion.
The low demand from Tesla led to the fact that Panasonic had to ship most of the plant’s products to foreign customers, rather than Tesla for sale under the Solar Roof brand, as originally intended.
By announcing a partnership with Tesla in this area in 2016, Panasonic has allocated over $ 256 million to a factory in the US city of Buffalo. Part of the transaction was Tesla’s long-term commitment to purchase the company’s products.
Due to competition with Chinese manufacturers, Panasonic has already had to reduce its solar business in other countries. Last year, GS-Solar, a Chinese company, got a solar panel plant in Malaysia and a research unit.
Panasonic will remain a member of a joint venture with Tesla producing electric batteries for electric vehicles, which for the first time after many years of operation showed quarterly profit.