Panasonic starts China battery line

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. has started production of lithium-ion batteries for mobile phones and personal computers at its new plant in Suzhou, China, the company said Tuesday.

It is Panasonic’s third integrated lithium-ion battery plant covering from component production to final assembly, following those in Wuxi, also in Jiangsu Province, and in Beijing.

Panasonic, which now produces most of its lithium-ion batteries in Japan, plans to expand Chinese production of the battery and have the three plants make 50 percent of its global output of the product by 2015 to reduce manufacturing costs.

It is considering transferring lithium-ion battery production to the new plant in Suzhou from its Kaizuka plant in Osaka Prefecture and closing that plant by next March.