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Reuters: Tesla's Solar Factory Exports 'Great Majority' Of Its Solar Cells

Tanzeel Akhtar

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) is exporting a "great majority" of the solar cells being produced at its New York factory, instead of using them in its Solar Roof system as intended, according to Reuters.

Why It's Important

Tesla has only sporadically purchased solar cells produced by its partner Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY), Reuters said in the Wednesday story.

The two firms announced a partnership in 2016 and said they would collaborate on cell and module production. Tesla made a long-term commitment to buy the cells from Panasonic. 

Last month, Tesla reported a 36-percent slide in its overall solar sales in the first quarter, adding to previous big drops since the SolarCity acquisition.

The relationship between Tesla and Panasonic was also recently been thrown into question after a report from the Nikkei Asian Review that alleged the Japanese company was freezing its investments in Gigafactory 1.

Panasonic produces the solar panels at the Buffalo plant for Tesla, but Reuters said it has been selling many of them to other buyers since last year due to low demand from the California automaker. 

What's Next

Panasonic is reportedly seeking to use its Buffalo operations to fulfill demand for U.S.-made solar cells from foreign buyers.

This is a new market that arose after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on overseas-made panels in 2018, according to Reuters. 

Price Action

Earlier this month, Tesla sold $2.3 billion of debt and stock to raise cash.

Tesla stock has dropped as the whole market takes a hit on the basis of developments in the Sino-American trade war.   

Tesla shares were down 0.51 percent at $231.13 at the time of publication Wednesday. 

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