JAPAN NEWS: Pioneer sells 6.5% stake to Honda as part of restructuring plans

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Honda Insight

It's selling a 6.5% stake to car-maker Honda for an investment thought to be around Y2.5bn, or just over £17.5m, and will use the money in its future development of in-car entertainment and information systems.

Honda will thus become the second largest shareholder in Pioneer, with about half the stake held by Sharp, with whom Pioneer is planning an optical disc joint venture to develop Blu-ray Disc players and other devices.

Other steps being taken by Pioneer include the shedding of 5800 regular staff and around 4000 temporary and contract workers, and consolidation of the 30 production companies it currently has worldwide.

Nine companies will close, and a further six will be downsized.

Pioneer has already announced its to develop navigation and in-car AV products with Mitsubishi Electric, and a joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry covering the same fields.

By 2012 Pioneer expects it will be solidly back into the black, with projected car electronics sales of over £2bn – 45% of which will be original-equipment systems for car manufacturers – and around £500m in home electronics sales.