Japanese electronics maker Panasonic is to set up a lead-acid battery plant in India and plans to make the country a regional hub.
The batteries shall be used mainly in the automotive industry and data centres. The costs for the plant are estimated at Rs200 crores ($36m). Panasonic is currently deciding on a location, which offers either tax concessions or is closer to the company’s automotive customers. The target is to start production by 2016.
According to Manish Sharma, managing director at Panasonic India, the company plans to expand in India to make it a regional hub for Asian and African markets. “India will put across a case study for the next at least 10 to 15 years to be replicated at least in African markets and majority of Southeast Asian, South Asia markets,” he added.
Panasonic aims an increase of its market share to 12% for the AC and durables segment by 2015.
“We plan to enter all markets excluding Japan and the US with our mobile phones. We will be in Nigeria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Egypt before October and plan to cover the rest of the areas by the end of the year,” Sharma said.
Panasonic currently has lead-acid factories in China and hopes that a local plant in India will improve supply-chain logistics to reach a lion’s share of the $3.6bn battery market.