Panasonic has presented its business figures for the 2021 financial year that ended at the end of March. The production of battery cells with Tesla in the Gigafactory 1 in Nevada was profitable for the first time over the entire financial year.
Overall, the financial year was still strongly influenced by the effects of the Corona pandemic. Group-wide turnover fell by eleven per cent to the equivalent of 50.7 billion euros, operating profit fell by twelve per cent to 1.96 billion euros. The automotive sector turned over 10.13 billion euros (-11 per cent), the operating profit here was 165 million euros (+32.7 per cent).
According to Panasonic, the profit increase in the automotive division is mainly due to the high demand for Tesla batteries. For the current fiscal year 2022, Panasonic expects a profit of the equivalent of 378 million euros for the automotive division, which is a significant increase on the 165 million euros in fiscal 2021. “The automotive batteries, which are nearly all Tesla account for around 40%,” says CFO Hirokazu Umeda.
Panasonic has not given more specific details on the Gigafactory 1, saying only that it was profitable for the first time on an annual basis. Until now there have only been announcements of individual quarterly profits.
In the new financial year 2022, Panasonic wants to install another production line for 2170 cells in the factory in question in order to increase annual capacity to up to 39 GWh. In 2021, the figure was 35 GWh with 13 production lines. As is well known, Tesla uses this cell format in the Model 3 and Model Y from American production.
Panasonic also plans to increase its 18650 cell capacity in Japan – the Model S and X continue to use this cell format after the refresh, at least in some variants. It is also confirmed that Panasonic will reportedly install a prototype production line in Japan in the new fiscal year to manufacture large cylindrical battery cells in 4680 format for Tesla.