Panasonic Leaves TV Panel Production

Panasonic has decided to stop producing LCD TV panels, due to high competition from firms in China, South Korea and Taiwan.

Production at the Himeji plant in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan will cease by the end of September, sources told the Nikkei newspaper. Corporate clients have already been informed.

The Himeji plant began production in 2010, and employees around 1,000 workers. Many of these will be reassigned to car battery production, said Panasonic. Monthly capacity is equivalent to about 810,000 32″ panels, the main product produced, but utilisation rates have been falling.

Panasonic will keep the plant open, producing non-TV components. This will include parts for medical devices and in-car displays. However, the firm plans to shrink total output volume by about 75%.

Panasonic will continue to make and sell LCD TVs, but will source its panels from South Korean makers, says the Nikkei.

Analyst Comment

This move leaves Sharp, now owned by Foxconn, as the only company producing LCD TV panels in Japan. (TA)