Panasonic Will Exit TV Production Only as a "Last Resort"

Posted Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:00 AM PDT by
Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga

Panasonic's chairman will step down in June.

Panasonic continues to grapple with its position as an employer of 300,000 people that is nevertheless looking at a loss $8.1 billion for the fiscal year, which is marginally smaller than the loss from the previous fiscal year. As the company attempts to consolidate and reorganize without initiating layoffs, it has a stated desire to not surrender its TV business to the surging Samsung and LG.

While the company has shed 40,000 jobs in the last two years, those jobs often involve three years of severance. The biggest immediate hope for Panasonic is the weakening Yen, and the company managed $32 million in operating profit from October -December just from a comparably favorable exchange rate.

Accepting responsibility for the company's dire straits, Chairman Fumio Otsubo will step down in June.

The company's current two year plan is to return to profitability next year with a projected $532 million forecasted profit through next March and a $3.7 billion profit in the next two years. Looking at the last ten years and Panasonic is currently down about $13 billion.

While the company has chaffed against the Japanese media reports of the incoming end to their plasma TVs. The current language suggests that it was the entire TV business that may have been cut. Unfortunately, if Panasonic cannot do better than losing billions soon, the company may be forced to exit consumer electronics altogether in favor of its auto and housing interests. Panasonic has already said that it will sell its majority stake in Nippon Express Co. Ltd, which had been Panasonic's logistics interest.

When discussing Panasonic's struggling TV business, Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga stated, "To get out would be the final resort. That possibility is not zero.''

Source: Engadget

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