Panasonic to stop LCD TV panel production

Panasonic is to cease LCD TV panel production at its plant in Himeji, western Japan, by the end of September.

The move, which is part of a financial restructuring process, will leave Sharp as the sole TV panel maker in Japan.

According to a report by news agency Reuters, the plant, where production began in 2010, has never made a profit during years of heavy price competition with South Korean and Chinese rivals. Some of Panasonic’s TV sets already use panels from rivals such as LG Display.

The Himeji plant will continue to manufacture screens for vehicle dashboards and medical equipment.

In a statement, the company said: “Panasonic is shifting its LCD panel production towards non-TV component applications, such as automotive and industrial use, and plans to complete this shift by the end of September this year.

“Panasonic’s TV business has for many years pursued a multi-procurement strategy, wherein it has sought out the best panels from multiple suppliers based on performance and cost. Using its own image processing and back-light technologies, Panasonic has been able to get the very best out of third-party panels and has been recognised by TV reviewers as consistently delivering superlative picture quality.

“Due to Panasonic’s deep knowledge of the varying characteristics of various display technologies, such as plasma, LCD, and OLED displays, Panasonic has consistently delivered superlative picture quality. Panasonic intends to continue delivering superb TVs as it further increases its competitivity.”

Panasonic pulled out of plasma TV production in 2013.