Panasonic sets out production investment plans at Sanyo

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Having recently finalized its takeover of Sanyo Electric for approximately US$4.6 billion, Panasonic has set out its expansion plans for Sanyo’s solar division. The new Panasonic Group claims that it will lead the environmental and energy fields in the future and implement ‘bold business strategies towards future growth.’ The company is targeting 2018 for these goals, which coincide with the 100th anniversary of the formation of Panasonic.

Panasonic said it would expand its solar cell business, combining Sanyo’s world-leading solar technology with the worldwide sales channels, energy management technology and building products/electrical construction materials technologies of Panasonic and Panasonic Electric Works.

Approximately 100 billion yen (approx, US$1.08 billion) will be invested from fiscal 2011 to 2016 to increase production of Sanyo’s ‘HIT’ technology for its solar cells. Panasonic aims to become the number-one market-share holder in Japan in fiscal 2013 and one of the top three companies in the global market in fiscal 2016.

Earlier in 2009, Sanyo had targeted HIT cell production to reach 430MW by the end of the year. With some competitors already capable of 1GW and more nameplate capacity, Panasonic’s planned investments over the next six years should result in significant cell and module capacity expansions, yet it is questionable at this point whether this will be sufficient to become one of the top three companies in the global market by the time-scale set.

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