Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (MC) said on Monday it aims to mass-produce spark-resistant batteries, eyeing a potential sales opportunity following incidents involving rivals' battery packs.

The Panasonic brand maker said it has boosted its production capacity of batteries insulated with heatproof layers to five million units per month, up from 100,000 in April.

Japanese rivals and battery market leaders Sony Corp. (SNE). and Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. have been hit by recalls of high-power batteries for PCs and cellphones, following much-publicized incidents in which batteries ignited.

Matsushita hopes to raise production of heat-resistant batteries for laptops first, and aims to raise production of insulated batteries to half of all lithium-ion batteries it makes in 2009, said spokesman Akira Kadota.

Matsushita, which now has monthly output of 15 million lithium-ion batteries for laptops and 10 million for cellphones, holds a 13 percent share of the global lithium-ion battery market, Kadota said, trailing Sanyo, Sony and Samsung SDI Co.

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