With Panasonic's expertise in electronics, the companies can build on plans to develop advanced mirror systems. Mirror housings are increasingly being used to house advanced systems such as cameras and sensors for lane departure warnings and radar and lidars for assisted driving.
In a March 21 news release announcing the investment, the companies noted they are working to develop products such as Next-generation cockpit systems and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), which will facilitate business expansion in fields where future growth is anticipated.
"In recent years, at Ficosa we have made important efforts to carry out a profound technology transformation based on developing products with greater value added in electronics and software," CEO Javier Pujol said in the release.
"Nevertheless, the technological transformation that draws the current transition of the automobile is enormous and requires great investments. Therefore, Panasonic's support is key to speed up synergies between both companies, consolidate our industrial project and gain the necessary critical mass to lead the transition of the automobile market in vehicle connectivity, autonomous driving, safety systems for increasingly assisted driving and e-mobility."
Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic did not disclose the value of the deal, which it said would be complete by the end of April pending regulatory approval.
Panasonic said it does not expect any substantial impact on earnings from the deal.
The move comes as Panasonic shifts focus to corporate clients to escape price competition in lower-margin consumer electronics.
Rival electronics makers are also moving further into the automotive industry. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd agreed in November to buy Harman International Industries in an $8 billion deal.
Panasonic is targeting annual sales of 2 trillion yen ($17.76 billion) for its automotive business in the year ending March 2019, from 1.3 trillion yen in the year ended March last year.