Panasonic to Consolidate 3G Mobile Phone Production in Japan
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., best known for its Panasonic brand name, today announced plans to reorganize and consolidate its mobile phone and automotive electronics production in Japan. Under the proposed plan, mobile phone manufacturing carried out at the Hanamaki plant in Iwate Prefecture will be shifted to Shizuoka Prefecture and automotive electronics manufacturing to Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. The plan is a part of Matsushita’s new 3-year business plan, the “Leap Ahead 21” Plan, aiming at further enhancing the company’s strategy to achieve an optimum system for global production.
The Shizuoka plant will be repositioned as a high value-added production base for the latest-generation mobile phones such as FOMA(1). In the mobile phone market, competition is intensifying in terms of price and technological development to create more advanced and diversified services such as the third generation (3G) mobile phone communication. The Shizuoka plant will become one of the mobile phone manufacturing bases that can readily respond to such global demands in line with overseas facilities in China, the Philippines, Czech and other countries.
The Matsumoto plant will take over the production of auto-related electronic components and will become the domestic manufacturing base of automotive multimedia products, manufacturing a wide range of automotive electronics from components to systems such as car navigations and AV systems. The Matsumoto plant will also become the “mother plant,” specializing in the manufacture of high value-added products and the development of advanced automotive electronics production technologies. It will ensure quality consistency by transferring its manufacturing technologies to overseas facilities.
With an increasing number of automotive manufacturers building up overseas operations more aggressively, it is imperative for Matsushita, one of the leading automotive electronics producers, have a production base that can deliver quality products at the cost and speed that automotive manufacturers demand on a global scale.
The consolidation is scheduled to begin from October 1, 2004, subject to an agreement with the union. The mobile phone line employees in Hanamaki will be asked to move to the Shizuoka plant and those at the automotive electronics line to the Matsumoto plant. For those who might find it difficult to move for their own reasons, Matsushita will decide alternative solutions including job relocation program in consultation with the union.
Profile of Each Manufacturing Facility
Location: Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture
Production line: mobile phones, PHS, automotive electronics components
Foundation: April 1983
Employees: 202 (at mobile phone line)(as of April 2004)
124 (at automotive electronics line)(as of April
Location: Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Production line: mobile phones
Foundation: September 1991
Employees: 406 (as of April 2004)
Location: Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture
Production line: car audios and car navigation systems
Foundation: April 1974
Employees: 418 (as of April 2004)
About Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., best known for its Panasonic brand name, is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated sales of US$71.92 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004. Matsushita’s shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York (NYSE:MC), Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information on the company and its Panasonic brand, visit the Matsushita website at http://www.panasonic.co.jp/global/top.html.
(1)FOMA is an NTT DoCoMo brand name of the third generation (3G) cell phone services.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Mike Kitadeya / Karl Takahashi, +81-6-6949-2293
Ryuichi Tsuruta, +81-6-6908-1121
Panasonic Finance (America), Inc.
Akihiko Takei, 212-698-1365
Panasonic Finance (Europe) plc.
Norio Iino, +44-20-7562-4400