posted on Monday, 2nd February 2015 by Steve May
Speculation in the Japanese press suggests that Panasonic is downsizing its TV ambitions, prior to another round of disappointing financial results. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the corporation has stopped making TVs for the booming Chinese market, and that it is reviewing its North American operation.
Panasonic has been producing 200,000 units per year from its LCD TV factory in Shandong Province, but fierce competition from Chinese and South Korean rivals has made the venture increasingly unprofitable. After shuttering the facility, it is thought the brand will license an OEM supplier to produce TVs using the Panasonic name in the region. Panasonic has reportedly yet to decide the fate of its LCD factory in Mexico, where 500,000 TV sets per year are produced for the North American market.
Closing both its China and Mexico plants would equate to a reduction of around 10 per cent in its global TV output. The news follows Toshiba’s announcement that it will retreat from the international TV business completely during 2015.
Sources indicate that TV factories in Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia will remain active. Craig Cunningham, TV product manager for Panasonic UK, told Inside CI : “It may be surprising, but we sell more TVs in the UK than we do in North America...” Panasonic will unveil its 2015 TV line-up at a European dealer conference to be held in Frankfurt at the end of February.
Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics
industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.