i3 - January/February 2018 - 10

Tech
At its heart, Panasonic is still a developer and
manufacturer of technologies and products that
touch the lives of consumers. CES is a great
opportunity to show our technologies, and meet
potential partners and customers.
Q What will determine
Panasonic's success in
the next five years?
A The automotive business is our growth driver
group-wide, since we
expect the electrification
and computerization of
vehicles to further accelerate. For instance, today,
we are the number one
global automotive battery
supplier, and we also have
the automotive infotainment
systems business where
we can leverage diverse
technologies we have built
up in our digital consumer
electronics business.
So, we will focus on these
businesses to achieve
further growth. However,
a multitude of changes are
also incrementally taking
place in society, and in
our business environment.
Accordingly, we will have to
respond adeptly to changes
in society, carefully listen to
our customers' voices, and
meet their expectations.
I believe these things are the
key to Panasonic's sustainable growth moving forward.
Q What are your
strengths compared to
other companies?
A Panasonic has 35 business
divisions today. Each of
them has its own special
strengths, including highly
competitive engineering and
manufacturing capabilities.
By leveraging and bringing
together the various strengths
that we possess, we can offer
our customers new value
that is unique to Panasonic.
This is our advantage.
10

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

installation in collaboration with the local utility
Xcel Energy, smart streetlights that improve
security and save energy, and autonomous
shuttle buses from the smart mobility company
EasyMile. There is another Panasonic smart city
project in Yokohama and smart housing developments near Kobe and elsewhere in Japan,
plus developments with partners in China and
elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Q When will we start to see smart
cities nationwide?

A Panasonic is talking to several cities that are

very interested in using smart technologies like
artificial intelligence and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to make life more convenient,
safer and smarter for their residents. ITS and
connected vehicle technologies have enormous
potential to save energy, reduce accidents and
save lives on the nation's highways.

Q What are the risk factors in the North
America market?

A We believe that trade agreements and tax

reform must work to support, not discourage,
business investment. In the past few years,
Panasonic has made significant investments in
the U.S., including the Gigafactory in Nevada
for lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing and
a solar roof manufacturing operation in Buffalo,
NY. In addition, Panasonic acquired the
refrigerated display cabinet maker Hussmann
Inc. a few years ago. New trade barriers or
tax provisions that would discriminate against
foreign investment in the U.S. would present
a risk to Panasonic's ability to continue to make
similar investments.

Q How important is NAFTA to Panasonic?
What about other U.S. trade agreements?
A As a Tier 1 automotive infotainment supplier,
Panasonic has developed many of the hardware
and software platforms used in passenger
vehicles in the U.S. The engineering and R&D for
this is done in the U.S., resulting in the creation
of a large number of high-tech and high-paying
jobs. To complement these efforts, it is equally
important to have a globally competitive manufacturing base in in North America and NAFTA
has enabled Mexico to be able to provide that.

We, as well as many other automotive companies, have been able to take advantage of the
talent and resources in Canada, the U.S. and
Mexico to serve what has been a very healthy
automobile market over the last several years.
The U.S. economy has been revitalized,
creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, in
automotive and other industries. The North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has
played a key role in this manufacturing renaissance. It is important to update NAFTA for
today's 'digital world' while not undermining
the substantial - in fact, net-positive - economic and employment benefits it provides
to the U.S. economy.

Q Is Panasonic involved in self-driving vehicles?
A Panasonic engineers around the world are
actively working on developing both components and systems for autonomous driving for
our car maker customers. For example, we
are making good use of our image processing
and sensor technologies. In fact, as I have
mentioned, many of the technologies that
make us strong in the automotive business
began as consumer electronics technologies.

Q How does Panasonic use CES to grow?
A At its heart, Panasonic is still a developer and

manufacturer of technologies and products
that touch the lives of consumers. CES is a great
opportunity to show our technologies, and meet
potential partners and customers. As most of
our North American business has transitioned
from B2C to B2B, so has CES for us, and we have
embraced CES as a key event to leverage all
our businesses. That further ratchets up the
importance of the show for us.

Q What are the areas of greatest opportunity
going forward?

A We expect to see more growth in our auto-

motive business as well as in solutions businesses that are linked by the Internet of Things.
For example, end-to-end food retail solutions
which we are working on through cross division
activity is a focus area of growth in the shortterm. We also have some great consumer
solutions coming on line in the next year or
two that will contribute to growth as well.
I T I S I N N O VAT I O N



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - January/February 2018

Contents
i3 - January/February 2018 - Cover1
i3 - January/February 2018 - Cover2
i3 - January/February 2018 - Contents
i3 - January/February 2018 - 2
i3 - January/February 2018 - 3
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i3 - January/February 2018 - Cover3
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