Friction reported between Panasonic, Tesla employees over cell battery plant

Updated : 21.04.2017 / Category Economy

The Gigafactory that Panasonic Corporation and Tesla, Inc. will build for battery cell production in Nevada is causing a few headaches for the Japanese firm, according to well-informed sources.

"Tesla CEO Elon Musk has absolute power over his company and his subordinates must obey what he says," said an insider. "Because of this, some Panasonic employees have grown frustrated in dealing with Tesla employees, who they regard as inflexible."

Under the leadership of President Kazuhiro Tsuga, Panasonic plans to provide as much as \200 billion to build the Gigafactory. Some observers have expressed concern that the factory could become a failure similar to Panasonic's plasma TV-associated investment. The electronics giant is carrying out corporate restructuring after years of setbacks.

Panasonic also has been rocked by dissatisfaction over Tsuga's sacking of the managing director credited with expanding sales of its products to corporate clients. "This personnel reshuffle is stoking discontent among certain quarters of the company," a former Panasonic employee said.

In Panasonic's account settlement for the period between April and December 2016, sales in only 4 of its 17 mainstay business operations exceeded those in the same period the previous year. Air conditioner manufacturing operations, on which Panasonic pinned high hopes for growth, registered negative growth for that period. Panasonic revised upward its business projection for the business year ending March 2017, but one analyst said that was due to effects of the depreciating yen.


This is a translation of an article from the April 2017 issue of Sentaku.