Panasonic’s auto business to become the real driving force?

Although Panasonic Corp. is an electronics company, it’s becoming quite the rev head. The Japanese brand that’s indelibly associated with televisions, audio equipment and microwave ovens now makes more money from auto parts than home appliances. In presentations to investors, the company divides its product portfolio into three business characteristics: high-growth, low-growth and low-profitable. At the top of that tree is automotive batteries, car cockpits and advanced driver assistance systems. The only non-vehicle segment enjoying management’s high-growth optimism is air conditioners. On the low-profit rung is chips, LCD displays and solar panels.

Panasonic Automotive already ranks No. 23 on the list of top 100 global auto suppliers with estimated worldwide sales to automakers of about $10 billion in 2015. And that position is only likely to consolidate as its rechargeable-battery business expands alongside Elon Musk’s ambitions. Panasonic is already a major lithium-ion battery supplier. Read more

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