Panasonic stops producing TVs in Vietnam

By Khuong Nha   May 2, 2021 | 06:18 pm PT
Panasonic stops producing TVs in Vietnam
People look at Panasonic's televisions displayed at an electronics store in Tokyo April 28, 2014. Photo by Reuters/Toru Hanai.
Japanese electronics giant Panasonic will end TV production in Vietnam and India by the end of fiscal 2021.

It is in talks to outsource production with Chinese rival TCL, the world’s third largest TV maker after considering many major manufacturers, according to Nikkei Asia Review.

It said the development of low-end TVs, which have low margins, would be outsourced to cut costs.

The company has followed other leading Japanese brands in scaling down TV production, an area formerly a major competitive advantage for the country's electronics industry. It will continue to produce its own high-end TVs, mainly for sale in Japan, but will also consider consolidating or shrinking production locations at home and abroad.

Japan’s Kyodo News said in an article published last Friday: "Panasonic's TV business has been struggling due to fierce competition from Chinese and South Korean rivals."

Panasonic used to have a 10 percent share of the global TV market but gradually lost its appeal when low-cost competitors from China appeared.

It earlier withdrew from the plasma TV segment, and discontinued production in the U.S. and China.

According to British research firm Omdia, by 2020 Panasonic ranked 12th worldwide in TV shipments with a 1.8 percent market share.

Sales and production of TVs account for less than 10 percent of Panasonic's total revenues. This segment was profitable in the year ending March 2021 thanks to a strong domestic market.

But the company has found the opportunity to earn long-term profits from TVs is no longer stable, and has been forced to restructure like many other Japanese brands.

In 2012, electronics firm Hitachi terminated its domestic TV production and sold its entire brand in 2018. That year Toshiba also sold all of its TV assets to China's electronics maker Hisense Group.

Sony has restructured its business model by reducing sales channels and some inefficient product lines.

Panasonic sells around six million TVs annually worldwide.

In Vietnam, it has eight companies, including Panasonic System Networks in Hanoi, which makes products like phones and projectors for the export market, refrigerator and washing machine factories, and R&D centers in various cities like Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho.

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