For now, Panasonic rules the battery landscape for plug-in vehicles. It has just one large-volume supply relationship – it sells to Tesla Motors. Astonishingly, that single deal with a niche OEM outperforms more than a dozen other deals that Panasonic’s competitors LG Chem, Samsung SDI, and others have struck with giant automakers. However, Panasonic could still lose the long game. This report details the conditions in which LG Chem and others can dethrone Panasonic by 2020, thereby gaining billions of dollars of market share in the process. Key strategies include helping accelerate the plug-in hybrid sales of two key German OEMs, winning over a supply contract with a Japanese OEM in need of help, and being first to mass-market with next-generation solid-state batteries. Finally, this report also outlines defensive strategies that Panasonic can deploy to counter these moves from its competitors, and what others can do to disrupt the battery world’s “big three.”
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