Panasonic to suspend production at Tesla joint venture due to coronavirus

Panasonic Corp

Panasonic stated on Saturday it will temporarily stop production at its battery joint venture with U.S. electric automaker Tesla Inc in Nevada due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Japanese electronics company, which provides battery cells for Tesla’s electric vehicles, will reduce operations at so-called Gigafactory 1 early next week before shutting down for 14 days, Panasonic stated in an emailed statement according to Reuters.

A Panasonic spokeswoman refused to describe how the suspension would affect Tesla, which produces battery packs and use Panasonic cells at the Nevada plant.

Tesla on Thursday stated its operations at the Nevada battery plant would continue, while it would halt production at its San Francisco Bay Area vehicle factory on March 24.

Panasonic stated Nevada plant workers affected by the shutdown will receive full pay and benefits for the whole period. During the closure, the facility will go through intensive cleaning, it said in the statement.

About 38,164 people in the United States have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed about 396 people in the country.

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