Panasonic’s new CEO and President, Yuki Kusumi, has set a 2-year goal to produce more batteries for Tesla while freeing up billions of dollars to invest in new areas of growth. He’s intent on making Panasonic more efficient, Bloomberg reports.
The new CEO will be working alongside the staff instead of working inside the former CEO’s scenic office. Kusumi said that he’s focused on improving efficiencies from the manufacturing floor up, which can’t be done if he’s hidden inside a lavish office. In an interview earlier this month, he said, “Those are the type of things I’m out to change.”
Bloomberg noted that the previous CEO cut out businesses that weren’t doing so well, such as plasma TVs, and Kusumi inherited a more financially stabilized company that is ready to embark on a path of growth.
Panasonic wants to achieve better efficiency in operations while generating cash and freeing up funds for new initiatives. “I don’t think it’ll take two years, but we’re pushing to reach that state,” Kusumi said, referring to the plan to specialize and sharpen Panasonic’s remaining businesses during the next two years. He noted that several of the company’s struggles as it supplied batteries to Tesla were due to insufficient productivity.
Panasonic, under Kusumi’s leadership, plans to focus on raising plant operation rates as much as possible while automating processes and keeping the costs low. “Within our new structure we’re going to polish this ability and if you stay tuned we’ll invest again in building supply capacity,” he said. One way Panasonic is doing this is through a new prototype production line it’s setting up. Panasonic will test 4680 batteries.
Additionally, Panasonic will streamline site operations through an investment in AI. The company is spent $7 billion to acquire Blue Yonder, an AI software developer. Soon, Panasonic can analyze site operations for inefficiencies with its own sensor technologies and the AI software.