Pioneer Electronics are set to sell LCD TVs as exclusively reported by SmartHouse two weeks ago. They are also set to quit manufacturing plasma TVs and instead will resort to selling high end plasma made by other manufacturers. The move comes after the Japanese company reported losses of over $150 million.
The company which has had major losses selling plasma during the past 12 months is also set to close plants and lay off employees. Also announced are significant changes to both their Hi Fi and automotive entertainment and navigation divisions.
In a media statement issued in Japan at 6.00pm on Friday night Pioneer said that based on their projected sales volumes for plasma the company would find it will be difficult going forward unless they changed both direction and the way in which they went to market.
In their press statement they said, “Accordingly, we have decided to terminate in-house plasma display panel production and to procure these panels externally, after panel production for our next series of models is complete. This move will allow us to transform our business model for displays from vertically integrated, capital-intensive operations to a leaner business model geared to making value-added product proposals. Pioneer is currently in discussions on the feasibility of procuring panel modules that may incorporate the company’s proprietary technologies”.
President Tamihiko Sudo said the company is in talks to buy panels from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., the world’s biggest maker of plasma TVs. LCD televisions are forecast to outsell plasma sets by seven to one worldwide this year, according to researcher DisplaySearch.
Pioneer believes that display is indispensable to its product lineup and will therefore stay in both the display business with both high end plasma and LCD TV offering.
Pioneer plans to review its production structure in conjunction with the termination of plasma display panel production and to streamline the entire display business to a scale commensurate with sales. We aim to compensate for cutbacks in the plasma display business by driving further expansion in our growth businesses. This will be done by shifting related personnel and other business resources to the Car Electronics business; the professional sound & visual (Pro SV) business, which involves DJ equipment; and the audio/video product business, including Blu-ray products”.On the question of their relationship with Sharp, Pioneer has said “As part of a comprehensive business and capital alliance formed by Pioneer and Sharp Corporation in 2007, the two companies are conducting joint product development by making effective use of each other’s resources in their respective fields of expertise. The overriding goal is to enhance the corporate value of both companies.
Pioneer is now working with Sharp in the development of acoustic systems for ultra-thin, flat-panel TVs. By leveraging its acoustic technologies built up over many years, Pioneer aims to develop acoustic systems employing ultra-thin speakers that still achieve outstanding sound quality for supply to Sharp. Furthermore, Pioneer will be supplied by Sharp with LCD TVs based on its superior technologies”
They confirmed what SmartHouse tipped two weeks ago with the statement, “We will launch these LCD TVs first in Europe in the Europe and steadily expand our lineup of LCD TVs”.
They also said that engineers from Pioneer and Sharp are set to team up to develop LCD TVs that carry on the legacy of the Pioneer “KURO” series which have awards for their plasma around the world.