TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp <6752.T> said on Saturday it
will temporarily suspend production at its battery joint venture
with U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> in Nevada because
of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Japanese electronics company, which supplies battery cells
for Tesla's electric vehicles, will scale down operations at
so-called Gigafactory 1 early next week before closing it for 14
days, Panasonic said in an emailed statement.
A Panasonic spokeswoman declined to comment on how the
suspension would affect Tesla, which produces battery packs
using Panasonic cells at the Nevada plant.
Tesla on Thursday said its operations at the Nevada battery
plant would continue, while it would suspend production at its
San Francisco Bay Area vehicle factory on March 24.
Panasonic said Nevada plant employees affected by the shutdown
will receive full pay and benefits for the entire period. During
the closure, the facility will undergo intensive cleaning, it
said in the statement.
TechCrunch, which first reported the planned suspension, said
Panasonic has about 3,500 employees at the Nevada plant.
(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Junko Fujita. Editing by Gerry
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