Following its earnings today, the Japanese electronics giant announced it would raise up to 400 billion yen ($3.86 billion) in corporate bonds, and confirmed that most of the money to be used as strategic investments will go to Tesla’s Gigafactory in the near term.
Earlier this year, Panasonic confirmed that it plans to invest $1.6 billion in the Gigafactory, but a company official also said that encouraged by the demand for the Model 3, they are ready to move up their investment schedule if asked by Tesla.
Tesla CTO JB Straubel confirmed this week that by accelerating their planned production ramp up for the Model 3 by two years, they also had to accelerate their Gigafactory plans by two years and this looks like Panasonic’s response.
Senior Managing Director Hideaki Kawai told reporters today following the confirmation of the capital raise (via Reuters):
“In the near term, strategic investment (from the money raised) would be mostly in Tesla’s Gigafactory. There is a need to speed up investment,”
The company’s latest investment in the battery plant is taking the form of battery cell manufacturing equipment for their first battery manufacturing lines and they are also ramping up their hiring effort.