Panasonic would consider additional investment in Tesla's Gigafactory if requested -exec

OSAKA, July 2 (Reuters) - Japan’s Panasonic Corp would consider additional investment in Tesla Inc’s automotive battery plant in the U.S. state of Nevada if requested by the U.S. electric car manufacturer, an executive said on Monday.

Panasonic, which is contributing about $1.6 billion to Tesla’s $5 billion “Gigafactory”, “would consider additional investment if we are requested to do so,” Yoshio Ito, the chief of Panasonic’s automotive business, said at a media roundtable in response to a question about whether the Japanese firm would increase its investment.

Panasonic is the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla’s current production models, producing them in Japan as well as at the Gigafactory, which Panasonic jointly operates.

Ito said last week at Panasonic’s general shareholders meeting that a pickup in production of Tesla’s Model 3 cars has resulted in occasional battery cell shortages.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki Editing by Christopher Cushing