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Panasonic cuts Tesla risk to stem further bleeding

Japanese company curbs heavy dependence on Musk's brand power

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at the Gigafactory in 2016. The U.S battery plant has struggled with production problems.   © Reuters

OSAKA/PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Panasonic's decision to halt investment in an electric vehicle battery plant run jointly with Tesla marks a change in strategy for the company, which went all in on the project but now seeks to reduce its dependence on the automaker.

Panasonic sources say that Tesla CEO Elon Musk often directly calls Kazuhiro Tsuga, the president of the Japanese company, to press for lower battery prices.

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