OSAKA -- Panasonic plans to turn Spanish autoparts supplier Ficosa International into a subsidiary by April in an effort to strengthen its own automotive business.
Ficosa is the world's No. 3 producer of car door mirrors and has strength in innovation.
The Japanese electronics group will raise its stake to 69% by purchasing a 20% interest from an asset management company of Ficosa's founding family under a deal announced Tuesday.
Ficosa logged sales of some 1.1 billion euros ($1.18 billion) for the year ended December 2015. Its products include rearview mirrors with liquid crystal displays that show the vehicle exterior, as well as modules for sending and receiving data.
Panasonic bought a 49% stake in 2015 under a capital and business alliance that sent four directors to Ficosa -- a count that will now rise to seven. Sales of a jointly developed mirror are slated to begin in 2017.
The Japanese company targets sales of 2 trillion yen ($17.8 billion) in its automotive business for the year ending March 2019, up 50% from three years earlier.