Nikkei. Toyota Motor Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. have entered into a cross-shareholding relationship as they increase their collaboration on batteries for hybrid vehicles.
In 1996, Toyota and Matsushita jointly established Panasonic EV Energy Co., which manufactures the NiMH batteries for Toyota hybrid electric vehicles and is developing lithium-ion cells for the next generation.
Toyota plans to triple its current worldwide hybrid sales to more than 1 million annually by the early 2010s. Panasonic EV is ramping up accordingly.
In the year ended 31 March 31, Toyota spent some ¥40 billion (US$326 million) to acquire 20.7 million shares, or an 0.84% interest, in Matsushita. Matsushita invested tens of billions of yen to boost its Toyota stake. It reported holding 0.57% of the automaker’s outstanding stock, or 20.42 million shares.
Nissan and NEC Corp. have also formed an alliance, as has Mitsubishi with GS Yuasa.