Last Friday, Panasonic announced that it was buying Sanyo for $9 billion, a deal that Panasonic hopes will launch the company's solar and battery businesses. Sanyo will become a part of the Panasonic group and bring with it their large solar PV business.
As an example of Sanyo's commitment to solar energy, the company plans to build a 70MW solar manufacturing facility in Oregon this coming year. Panasonic hopes to capitalize on projects like these, as well as expand into crystalline silicon solar cells and to develop next-generation solar cells.
Along with a large expansion into the solar business, Panasonic will be making "active investments" in lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. Panasonic hopes the collaboration with Sanyo will bring lucrative contracts with large automakers.
This is a smart move on Panasonic's part. The tide is turning in the electronics sector and businesses need to start moving in a greener direction and expanding their offerings. Consumers have made it known that they want more eco-friendly products and eco-saving innovation. This is clearly the path to long-term success for electronics companies.
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