JAPAN: Panasonic's loss-making TV division to cut production of LCD and plasma panels

16 Oct 2012

Panasonic HQ

UPDATE: Panasonic plans exit from plasma TV business

Panasonic has announced a shake-up of its TV panel manufacturing, which will see reductions of both LCD and plasma production capacity, and more LCD panels being bought in from external suppliers.

The company, whose TV division has lost money for the last four years and isn't expected to turn a profit in 2012-13, has been forced to seek ways to reduce costs and try to make more money from its current production capacity.

Panasonic will cut production of LCD panels for TVs this year, and again in 2013-14, and concentrate instead on more profitable sales of panels for tablets, smartphones and the like. It's reported that the recently-announced OLED development joint venture between Panasonic and Sony is developing a smartphone OEL (organic electroluminescent) panel that's both thinner than an LCD panel of the same size and consumes less energy.

It will buy in more LCD TV panels from outside sources such as LG Display, which it already uses, increasing the amount of panels it buys in to at least 70% of its requirement this financial year, and more in 2013-14.

It's all a matter of cutting costs, as overseas manufacturers can make panels at a lower price than those in Japan.

Panasonic Himeji

Panasonic's Himeji plant (above), which is already split between TV and smaller panels, will boost the proportion of its capacity used for smaller displays to more than 50%, but will still make LCD TV panels for those manufacturers it supplies.

Panasonic Amagasaki

Its Amagasaki plasma panel plant (above) will also reduce production of TV displays this year, while boosting output of panels used for electronic signs.

But Panasonic isn't getting out of the TV business: it's expected that its LCD TV sales with move up a little year on year to around 13m sets, although plasma sales will fall by half to around 2.5m.

The Panasonic move will leave Sharp's Sakai plant, now run as a joint venture with Taiwan-based contract electronics manufacturing giant Hon Hai, as Japan's only factory mainly making display panels for TVs.

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Comments

I agree with SolarGlider 100%,i wouldn't entertain any other brand or any other panel other than plasma and laugh when someone says that their xyz brand has better picture quality than a high end Panasonic Plasma tv.

This is the second time that a maker of the best tv-panels in the world 

has to reorganize due to constant loss.  (and the first one gave up)

I have a plasma and it boggles me how many people spend much more on far inferior images because they think LCD is the best technology out there. (unless you're flicker sensitive or you live in a glass house)

I think it's almost insulting to Panasonic since they are giving the best images at the most competitive price.