Matsushita Corp. of Japan disclosed at a press conference on its financial statements that the company’s organic EL TV production business in its factory in Tochigi Prefecture of Japan for many years ended at the end of March this year, and Matsushita has stopped producing TV sets in Japan, CCTV finance quoted NHK website as saying on the 11th.
This will be another shock to the Japanese color TV industry after Hitachi delisted, Toshiba was acquired and sharp changed its ownership in recent years. Moreover, Panasonic’s “one more step back” may mean that the last period of a Japanese color TV era is drawing.
Photo source: NHK website of Japan
Panasonic to stop production of TV
Panasonic announced on the 11th that it has stopped producing TV sets in Japan and will focus on overseas production in the future, NHK television reported.
Panasonic said that the reason for stopping production was low output and high cost, resulting in poor revenue. In the future, Panasonic plans to focus its TV production business on overseas factories such as Malaysia and Czech Republic. At the same time, it is also negotiating with TCL, a large electrical appliance manufacturer in China, on the issue of OEM production of small and medium-sized LCD TV sets. In the future, the factory in Tokyo will be used for TV R & D and parts manufacturing.
In recent years, large Japanese electrical manufacturers have cut off TV business, and many enterprises have stopped producing TV in Japan. However, NHK TV also said that Sony and Mitsubishi will continue to make TV sets in Japan.
Analysts said that part of the reason for this situation is that the price competition between Japanese manufacturers and overseas manufacturers tends to be white hot.
Matsushita used to occupy more than 10% of the global TV market in the past. However, with Chinese competitors taking advantage of low cost to enter the market, Matsushita gradually lost its market position. According to omdia data, Matsushita only occupied 1.8% of the global TV market last year, ranking 12th in the world.
TV is estimated to account for less than 10% of Panasonic’s total revenue. Thanks to the strong Japanese market, the TV sector still made profits in the financial report up to March, but Panasonic believes that TV has little chance to obtain stable long-term revenue.
Every editor learned that Matsushita began to produce home TV since 1952. At that time, the name of the company was “Matsushita Electric Appliance Industry Company”. Panasonic TV’s global sales peaked in FY2010, surpassing 20 million units. In 2017, Panasonic TV’s business was acquired by Hisense. By fiscal year 2020, Panasonic TV’s global sales will drop to 3.6 million units.
Southeast Asian factories can’t save Panasonic color TV
In recent years, the color TV industry has seen both volume and price drop《 Novel coronavirus pneumonia market in China was reported in 2020. In 2020, the market volume of the color TV industry decreased, which was affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic situation and the upstream core component of the LCD panel price. The total retail sales volume of the whole year was 128 billion 800 million yuan, down 15.7% from the same period last year.
The competition dimension of color TV industry mainly focuses on technology, cost and brand reputation. Panasonic mainly considers the change of “cost competitiveness”. Panasonic has previously moved TV production to Southeast Asian countries, but it does not seem to have brought effective competitiveness improvement, as can be seen from its recent decision.
Panasonic has decided to stop TV production in India and Vietnam this fiscal year.
Matsushita’s choice seems to show that “simple terminal factory transfer” can not save the “cost competitiveness” of these enterprises.
Compared with Panasonic, TCL is now the only two LCD panel manufacturer in the world. This highlights the strategic significance of “independent and controllable core industrial links” in the “longest price rising cycle of global LCD panel” starting in April 2020. Panasonic, on the other hand, has shut down plasma panel factories and liquid crystal panel factories in the past 10 years, withdrawing from the core manufacturing field of “display panel”.
Since 2010, smart TV has sprung up, and now color TV products are upgraded to smart screen 5g + TV. In this regard, ARM chip, OS system and ecology “account for an increasing proportion of the experience value of color TV terminals”. However, the Japanese consumer electronics industry as a whole missed the opportunity period of “intelligent era”.
In contrast, in South Korea and Mainland China, where display panel and intelligent technology are well developed, the performance of color TV enterprises is relatively better. Especially in mainland China, a number of “color TV entrepreneurs” have emerged in the past 10 years. Among them, Xiaomi has occupied a certain advantage in sales volume, and Huawei, glory, oppo, etc. are also increasing investment in color TV product lines.
One side is the emergence of new brands and increased investment, the other side is shrinking and retreating: behind the contrast between the Chinese and Japanese color TV camps is the contrast between the strength of the panel and the intelligent industry chain. For the time being, Japanese Sony and Panasonic rely on their historical reputation and intensive cultivation of their products to occupy a place in the global high-end market. However, it is difficult to make the industry optimistic about their market development for a long time under the background of the new situation. Today’s problem of Panasonic color TV is actually the problem of the whole Japanese color TV industry chain.