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Business deals

Panasonic rattled by high-maintenance partner Tesla

Japanese conglomerate is increasingly hesitant to make further commitments

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, left, and Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga. The companies are partners in an electric car battery factory in the U.S. state of Nevada.

OSAKA -- Japan's Panasonic is growing wary of the risks posed by its battery partnership with Tesla, the American electric car maker, which has been eating through capital while production of its mass-market sedan struggles to get off the ground.

Though Panasonic's earnings for the year ended March gave reason for optimism, with both sales and profit increasing, the electric car battery business is showing signs of strain.

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