Panasonic has announced it is winding down its involvement in Tesla’s solar factory in Buffalo, NY as there are increasing signs of a detonating partnership.
“Panasonic Corporation will begin to wind down U.S. production of photovoltaic cells and modules at Gigafactory New York in Buffalo, NY, in line with the global solar strategy led by its Life Solutions Company,” the company said in a statement. “By the end of May 2020, Panasonic will cease U.S. solar manufacturing operations and is scheduled to exit the facility by the end of September 2020.
“Panasonic is supporting Tesla in its efforts to identify and hire qualified applicants from Panasonic’s impacted workforce. Tesla plans to hire qualified applicants to new positions needed to support its solar and energy manufacturing operations in Buffalo.”
The move comes as Panasonic is working to divest itself of some of its less profitable businesses and streamline its operations. There seems to be indication the two companies’ partnership is fraying, as U.S. News & World Report points out that Tesla is looking to diversify its battery supplies to include batteries from South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd.
In its own statement, Panasonic downplayed any issues with its partnership with Tesla, pointing out that the two companies are continuing to work together at Tesla’s Nevada facilities.
“This decision will have no impact on Panasonic and Tesla’s strong partnership in Nevada. The two companies will continue their industry-leading electric vehicle battery work taking place at Tesla’s Gigafactory outside of Reno, NV.”