Panasonic and Toyota form JV to develop smart sustainable towns

New company will combine expertise in connected systems and construction to develop smart homes and services

Toyota and Panasonic have announced a joint venture to focus on smart connected homes and towns.
Toyota and Panasonic have announced a joint venture to focus on smart connected homes and towns.

Toyota Motor Corp and Panasonic Corp have announced a new joint venture which will focus on the ‘town development’ business.

The JV, to be called Prime Life Technologies Corporation, will combine Toyota’s expertise in smart mobility and vehicle technology, and Panasonic’s experience in digital appliances and lifestyles to further the creation of sustainable smart towns (SST) and related services.

Panasonic and a number of partner companies have been developing smart towns, beginning with Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fujisawa SST) in 2011.

The new Tokyo-headquartered JV will combine the SST with Toyota’s developments in mobility-as-a-service platforms, Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) vehicles, and other concepts.

The two companies will integrate their respective housing businesses into the JV, which will be owned in equal proportion by both.

The integration of the housing businesses of Panasonic Homes, Toyota Housing and Misawa Homes, will position the JV with a supply of approximately 17,000 detached houses.

Kazuhiro Tsuga, President of Panasonic, 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.”

Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota, said: “From here on out, information will link all items and services that support people’s daily lives thanks to the development of CASE, 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.

“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, with the housing business of both companies as the core.”

The new venture follows another JV between the two companies, focused on R&D and manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries, which was announced in January.

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