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Panasonic and Toyota merge housing businesses for smarter towns

Panasonic Corporation and Toyota Motors Corporation have joined forces to combine their expertise in the home appliance and mobility sectors along with IoT to create smarter homes and lifestyles for their customers.

The companies will look into blending their mobility service and lifestyle initiatives to create the “ideal lifestyle” for their customers.

The joint venture will be based on town development, meaning that the companies will find ways to use smart tech to improve peoples’ lives.

A joint statement was released and it stated, “A rapid change is expected in this business due to the accelerated deployment of IoT technologies in home appliances, household equipment, etc., as well as the evolution in mobility.”

The new company, Prime Life Technologies Corporation, will consist of Panasonic and Toyota housing units and is expected ot be established by January 2020.

Panasonic believes that in the town development business, the company along with various others, have led the way in the development of smart and sustainable towns as advanced models of town development. The company stated that it had tested and succeeded in deploying their cutting-edge town development initiatives both inside and out of Japan.

Toyota however, has been constructing a mobility service platform alongside improving the development of connected cars. Also, the company has been collaborating with a number of companies, both domestic and overseas, to work towards creating new mobility services.

Panasonic’s President, Kazuhiro Tsuga, said, “In the future, in addition to hardware, the provision of improved services supported by technology will assume a more important role in town development that provides value for customers and the local community.”

“Toyota has been leading the mobility field, and Panasonic has long been serving lifestyle needs of people. We will put our respective strengths together to offer new value in everyday life.
Through this collaboration, Panasonic will further challenge itself to continue advancement in the town development business, aiming to deliver the ‘ideal lifestyle’ for each customer,” he added.

This comes as Japan’s population is in decline and merging the two housing businesses will be healthy for competition as it will give them a chance to expand in a shrinking market.

Toyota President, Akio Toyoda, stated: “From here on, information will link all items and services that support people’s daily lives thanks to the development of ‘CASE’, [connected, autonomous, shared and electric]. And considering this from a broad, community-level and society-level perspective that includes cars – in other words, working from the concept of connected cities – will become important.”

He added, “In order to realize this, 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.
I want to take on the challenge of providing a new kind of lifestyle, based on the spirit of always wanting to be better and better, while bringing together the strengths of Toyota, with its vehicle business and connected business, and Panasonic, with its home appliance business, battery business, and IoT business, and enhancing our competitiveness."