July 24, 2019
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Toyota, Panasonic announce new joint venture to develop smart homes

Tokyo, May 9 (efe-epa).- Japan’s car maker Toyota Motor and technology giant Panasonic announced on Thursday that they would set up a joint venture to develop smart homes that will showcase a technological fusion of mobility services, lifestyle initiatives and the internet of things.

The new company is expected to be established in January 2020 and will be named Prime Life Technologies Corporation.

Both companies will have the same share of participation, according to the joint statement. Mitsui, one of the largest general trading companies in Japan, would also be part of the joint venture.

"Panasonic and Toyota are committed to realizing improvements in peoples' lives while seeking growth and advancements in the town development business,” they said in the statement.

The statement said the a rapid change was expected in this business due to the accelerated deployment of the internet of things in home appliances, household equipment as well as the evolution in mobility services with the help of information technology like hailing and sharing rides.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said the companies “will link all items and services that support people's daily lives… in other words, working from the concept of 'connected cities”.

"I believe that it is important to have a spirit of cooperation with friends and allies, while sharing our goals regarding what kind of future we want to create," he said.

Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga said the collaboration aimed to “put our respective strengths together to offer new value in everyday life”.

The new venture will seek to become a profitable entity in the face of stiff market competition arising out of a fall in new housing due to the demographic situation or advancements in mobility, in public and private transport, through technology.

Panasonic is one of the leading Japanese companies in the development of intelligent and sustainable neighborhoods, such as the one established in the town of Fujisawa about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Tokyo.

The joint venture will further deepen the collaboration between Toyota and Panasonic which in January 2019 announced the creation of another collaboration to develop batteries for electric vehicles by the end of 2020.

mra/sp/ssk

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