In response to hybrids gaining market share, Sanyo has decided to ramp up production on batteries.

Sanyo, despite losses near 1 billion dollars in 2008, plans to spend millions in the next two years to build new battery plants and expand current production plants.  The decision comes as industry insiders see hybrids and electric vehicle gaining tremendous ground in the coming years and Sanyo does not want to be left behind.

In a recent conference with industry analysts, Sanyo announced that they plan to spend up to $314 million in by 2012 to increase their production of both lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries.

The company aims to provide batteries for up to 270,000 hybrids and EVs each year.  The break down is 120,000 lithium-ion units and 150,000 nickel metal hydride units.  To meet their goal, they will build new production facilities in Japan's Hyogo, Tokushima, and Sumoto prefectures.

Sanyo currently supplies batteries to Ford and Honda for hybrid models and announced a joint venture with the VW Group to produce lithium-ion batteries for future VW and Audi hybrids.

By 2015, Sanyo hopes to be able to produce enough batteries to supply 40% of the hybrids on the market.  Lofty goals, but the company is definitely keen on creating production facilities capable of meeting the future demand.

Source:  Edmunds