It was a rumour that no AV nut wanted to believe but now its official: Pioneer is exiting the plasma business.
The company has announced that it is doing a total re-think of its business. This means it is shedding 10,000 jobs – 6,000 full-time positions – and shutting down production of its much-lauded Kuru TV brand.
In an official statement, which confirms reports at the weekend, Pioneer says it will stop plasma production as of March 2010.
UK production ending this month
"We have implemented restructuring measures mainly to improve profitability," the statement continues.
"These measures have included termination of in-house plasma display panel production and implementation of early retirement programs including personnel in administrative and sales divisions.
"Overseas, we have started to streamline our sales structures and have decided to close plasma display production facilities. Plans call for ending production at our US and UK display production facilities in April and February 2009, respectively."
Car electronics business
There's no news whether the company is to pull out of the AV business completely but the signs are worrying. Currently, Pioneer manufactures a number of Blu-ray players and various types of audio and home cinema equipment.
Pioneer is aiming to re-market itself as a 'car electronics' business, so streamlining the business further could be likely.