Japanese electronics giant Panasonic, has announced a company restructuring with an investment of $2.7 (£1.8) billion over the next two years, with a particular focus on expanding the company’s automotive and housing developments, while scaling back on consumer electronics.
It’s not clear from this fresh round of investment if job cuts will be made however. “Panasonic has talked about selling assets, but without cutting workers too, it will come across as a restructuring plan that lacks teeth,” said Makoto Kikuchi, the CEO of Myojo Asset Management in Tokyo (via Reuters). “Panasonic does not have the sort of corporate culture which you would expect to see serious layoffs.”
As it stands, despite heavy job cuts in recent years, Panasonic still employees over a quarter million people.
Like other Japanese firm Sony, Panasonic has suffered in recent years with the strong Yen causing export issues and increased competition from Korean firms like Samsung that have been producing high quality, cheap products that compete directly in traditional Japanese markets like TVs. There’s also been encroachments from previous non-competitors like Apple, with products like Apple TV and the tablet market encroaching on TV viewing habits.
KitGuru Says: Panasonic isn’t a name you see that often any more, compared to just a few years ago when it was far more dominant. It’s a similar case for Sharpe – and Sony to some extent, though we still have a lot of headlines from the latter because of the PS4.