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Is Tesla's Gigafactory a Gigablunder for Panasonic?

7/31/2014 09:00 PM EDT
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junko.yoshida
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Gigafactory investment
junko.yoshida   7/31/2014 9:46:08 PM
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For Panasonic, which is eager to transform itself from a AV manufacturer  (TVs, DVDs and smartphones) to an industrial company (read "automotive"), the partnership with Tesla presents a very attractive opportunity.

And yet, how much Tsuga wants to share his company's future with Musk 's big dream (and big talk) remains a question. Whatever decision Tsuga makes will define what Panasonic will become (or won't become) in the next five years.

 

Susan Rambo
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Re: Gigafactory investment
Susan Rambo   7/31/2014 10:43:36 PM
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If the Gigafactory becomes successful or even "gigasuccessful" then Panasonic will be happy they got in when they did -- which is stating, of course, the obvious. I hope it works out.

gfcorbett
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Re: Gigafactory investment
gfcorbett   7/31/2014 10:58:51 PM
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Junko:

As you know, Panasonic lost its posterior on plasma technology.  This may follow the same example.

Time will tell.

Best regards,

Gerry

rick merritt
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Re: Gigafactory investment
rick merritt   7/31/2014 11:20:44 PM
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Tesla's battery pack was its key innovation. If EVs finally take off (slowly), the company could morph into a key component supplier.

What are the lessons of A123 Systems demise that Tesla/Panasonic must learn?

Weapon
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Re: Gigafactory investment
Weapon   8/1/2014 12:41:28 AM
The biggest issue with Plasma technology was that economies of scale was against it. Plasma was great for TVs but not so great for PC monitors. On top of that there was the lighting market which benifited from LED. So it was too tempting for manufacturers to go in on LED. The power consumption was also another important factor.

In comparison, Batteries are more straight forward. There is no real competing technology other than other lithium ion batteries. If there is an improvement to anode or cathode, generally the process stays the same.

To add to that, Tesla is covering half the cost and Tesla and SolarCity are supplying you guaranteed demand.

 

boblespam
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Re: Gigafactory investment
boblespam   8/1/2014 3:09:53 AM
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It's nice to see that external big companies are heavily investing in US factories. That must be a result of a succesfull local politic - along with private interests of course -

Sometime I envy you, US guys !

junko.yoshida
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Re: Gigafactory investment
junko.yoshida   8/1/2014 3:30:31 AM
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@Gerry, exactly. That's why some executives in Panasonic are more cautious than others.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Gigafactory investment
junko.yoshida   8/1/2014 3:33:05 AM
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Yes, boblespm, but we still don't know is which state in the U.S. will end up hosting Gigafactory. That is to be determined.

Loser99
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Re: Gigafactory investment
Loser99   8/1/2014 11:36:58 AM
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It is going in Reno Nevada, I live there, they have already cleared the land for the pad for the building the past month.

Unfortunately, they could backtrack and pick a different state, they are expecting the state to throw in 10 percent in concessions/taxbreaks/cash/improvements.  Thats 400-500 million.  The most Nevada has ever conceeded was to an Apple server farm last year in the same desolate business park and that was 89 million and the legistlator passed laws to never do that again apparantly.

Texas is the only state that could bribe them with that kind of money.

Apparantly Musk tweeted to the Nevada governor: "The ball is now in your court" 

anon7879002
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Factory smart - up or down?
anon7879002   8/1/2014 11:47:03 AM
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Aside from the possibility of Panasonic becoming a battery supplier to others in the reasonalby near-term, what happens WHEN (not if) the next vehicle battery technology begins to emerge? The range problem facing electric cars is still a key obstacle to broad adoption. Some large and small companies are working hard and fast on fixing that. LI batteries are just a step on the path toward the power source needed to allow the EV market to really take off. One question would be how fast could this factory be converted to a next-generation battery manfacturing technology as it becomes viable?

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