Troubled manufacturer looking away from TV production reliance.
Panasonic has long been the bastion of the plasma Television, a product which has gradually gone from sexy to afterthought as customers have flocked towards LCD displays. According to Reuters, Nikkei newspaper is reporting that Panasonic is weighing ending plasma TV productions altogether as part of its plan to again be profitable.
The report also outlines some of Panasonic's moves as relating to this possible decision. During 2009-2010, Panasonic's plasma heavy TV business generated sales of more than $10.5 billion, but is already expecting only half of that during 2015-2016. Production of plasma TV panels in Panasonic's main plant in Amagaskai is already scheduled to end in the 2014 fiscal year, and the associated production equipment has already been written off by the company. Development of new plasma models has been shelved in favor of LCDs.
If Panasonic pulls the trigger, showrooms and customers will likely lose plasma TVs as an option quite quickly as Panasonic models are considered by many as the best option. A Panasonic spokesperson was noncommittal in saying that "We are considering a number of options regarding our TV business. But nothing has been decided yet."
Panasonic is fresh off of a 36,000 layoff year, and already has scheduled 10,000 more. Eliminating plasma TVs may be Panasonic's quickest way to stop hemorrhaging money. In the meantime, consumers might find that already discounted plasma TVs will become even cheaper before disappearing altogether.
Source: Reuters via CNET