Telsa Inc. shares fell 4% in premarket trade Thursday, after a report that the electric car maker and Japan's Panasonic Corp. are freezing plans to expand their Gigafactory 1, on concerns about weakening demand for Tesla's cars. The pair had planned to increase capacity at the world's biggest electric vehicle battery plant by next year, the Nikkei reported, but financial problems have led them to reconsider that plan. The Gigafactory has been making batteries for Telsa's mass market sedan, the Model 3, since Jan. 2017. Panasonic makes the cells that Telsa then assembles into battery packs. The companies were planning to expand capacity to 54 gigawatt hours a year by 2020, up from 35 gigawatt hours now. The two companies have invested $4.5 billion in the plant, the Nikkei reported. Tesla's recent deliveries miss has prompted analysts, including at Goldman Sachs, to lower estimates for 2019. Tesla shares have fallen 8.3% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 9.3%.
Panasonic Corp. engages in the development, manufacture, and sale of electrical products. It operates through the following segments: Appliances, Eco Solutions, Connected Solutions Company, Automotive and Industrial Systems, and Others. The Appliances segment develops and manufactures white goods such as vacuum cleaner, washing machine, refrigerator, and air conditioner; as well as health and beauty products. The Eco Solutions segment handles development, manufacture and sale of lighting fixtures and electric lamps including LED lighting, solar photovoltaic systems, wiring devices, interior furnishing materials, water-related products, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, air purifiers, and others. The Connected Solutions segment offers system integration, installation, support, and maintenance services for aviation, manufacturing, entertainment, retail, and logistics. The Automotive and Industrial System segment develops, manufactures, sells and provide services for car-use-multimedia-related equipment, electrical components, lithium-ion batteries, storage batteries, dry batteries, electronic components, electronic materials, automation controls, semiconductors, optical devices, electronic-components-mounting machines, welding equipment, bicycles, and others. The Others segment deal with detached housing, rental apartment housing, land and buildings for sale, home remodeling, imported materials and components, and others. The company was founded by Konosuke Matsushita on March 7, 1918 and is headquartered in Osaka, Japan. (See Full Profile)