Panasonic Closes China Plant
Panasonic has closed its last remaining TV manufacturing factory in China and is to sell its plant in Mexico as part of a restructuring plan aimed at stemming losses, it was reported on Saturday.
The Japanese electronics giant was forced to pull the plug on local production in the two countries due to a sharp decline in TV prices in North America and China, AFP quoted the Nikkei newspaper as saying. The move will see Panasonic cutting back overseas production by 700,000 units a year, representing about 10 percent of worldwide output, it said.
In China, the firm stopped production at an 80 percent-owned joint venture in Shandong Province on Friday. The company plans to liquidate the venture with the several hundred workers there likely to be laid off.
It will continue to sell TVs in China by outsourcing production for the roughly 200,000 units a year that it used to manufacture in-house, it said. In Mexico, Panasonic is expected later this year to sell a plant that has annually churned out about 500,000 units mostly shipped to the US market, the Nikkei said.
The company now plans to focus more on high-resolution models and other high-value-added TVs, it added.
Panasonic has been struggling to boost earnings in the TV segment, which has been losing money over the last six years. The TV business logged a loss of 46.5 billion yen ($396 million) for the fiscal year to March last year.
Panasonic expects to sell roughly seven million TVs worldwide this fiscal year, excluding those under the Sanyo brand. No one at Panasonic was immediately available to comment on the report.