Panasonic to end solar cell production by March 2022

©Kyodo News

Panasonic Corp. said Monday it will end solar cell production at its factories in Malaysia and Japan by the end of the business year ending March 2022, withdrawing from the business after facing fierce competition from Chinese rivals.

The decision to stop production of solar cells for use in houses, public and industrial facilities is part of Panasonic's restructuring to withdraw from low-profit businesses. The Osaka-based firm said it will continue to sell photovoltaic products under the Panasonic brand made by its manufacturing partners.

The company's factory in Malaysia will stop producing photovoltaic wafers, cells and modules by the end of March 2022 and Panasonic Solar Energy Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., the local entity that operates the factory, will be liquidated. Panasonic said it will extend support to local employees by raising severance payments and helping them find new jobs.

In Shimane Prefecture, western Japan, Panasonic will end production of photovoltaic cell at its factory but maintain employment by transferring them to different positions within the company.

Panasonic used to produce solar cells with U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. but ended its tie-up in 2020. The two still cooperate over batteries for EVs.