Despite inventing plasma and despite delivering one of the best plasma TV’s in the world Fujitsu General who has distributed plasma displays in Australia from the outset of the display technology has quit due to declining profitability.
The move which was tipped by SmartHouse 12 months ago was primarily due to poor marketing by the Japanese electronics giant and the lack of a brand presence in the consumer electronics marketplace up against the likes of Sony, Samsung and LG. It is also expected that other Japanese Companies could follow Fujitsu in coming months and quit the plasa market as LCD takes over.
“During the past several years, the pricing and profitability of this segment has compressed beyond the point which our company could realize a satisfactory return on investment,” Fujitsu said in a statement.
The company said it will continue to offer support for products still under warranty, and will sell visual display products through its systems integration business in Japan. However, Fujitsu will focus most of its resources on other core categories including heating and ventilation going forward..
Executives at Fujitsu General in Australia could not be reached for comment Friday.
Fujitsu General Ltd., a subsidiary of Fujitsu Ltd., previously gave up production of plasma televisions, but continued to sell plasma displays, primarily through high-end specialty A/V stores and custom installers in Australia.
Only two weeks ago Sydney based Len Wallis Audio CEO Len Wallis said that Fujitsu was still one of the best plasma TV’s in the market.
Fujitsu General was among the first companies to sell plasma televisions after years of research and development.
Declining profitability, however, forced Fujitsu to sell controlling interest in the plasma-television manufacturing operations in 2005 to Hitachi Ltd, a joint venture partner.
Fujitsu has said that it would get out of the business by March and focus on the Fujitsu unit’s cores business of heating and ventilation equipment.
Fujitsu General was the first in the world to sell plasma televisions in the early 1990s after more than two decades of research in the market.
Fujitsu already gave up its major plasma-television operation in 2005, handing over control of a joint venture to partner Hitachi Ltd.
Another Japanese firm, Pioneer, earlier this year suspended plans to build a new plant after running into the red over sliding sales of plasma displays.
The plasma television sector, however, continues to have strong supporters including Matsushita Electric Industrial maker of the Panasonic brand.