Hitachi to stop making TVs in 2012

Pulls out of manufacturing in Japan

Hitachi has announced that it is to end TV production in Japan and will close its factory in September.

The news is another reminder of just how unstable the television market is in Japan at the moment, with big players like Panasonic and Sony losing out to Korean rivals Samsung and LG.

There have been rumblings for a while that Hitachi was ready to stop producing TVs. The company only has one manufacturing plant left in Japan and this is rather small scale, turning out around 100,000 sets a month.

Now Hitachi is set to close this plant in September and outsource all of its TV production to third-party manufacturers.

While Hitachi pulling out of TV production won't have the same repercussions as when Pioneer announced it was no longer investing in TVs, it does come at a time when Japan is suffering from TV production fatigue

TV turn off

Last week both Sony and Panasonic found that their credit ratings were downgraded by investment service Moody – Sony's to Baa1 (the third lowest), Panasonic to A2 (the sixth highest).

This came after Sony announced that it was no longer in what was a joint venture with Samsung over the manufacturing of panels.

It's not hard to see that the current TV industry as a whole is in a state of flux; 3D is being side-lined for Smart TV, LCD TVs are being swapped for LED ones and OLED is finally getting its time to shine in the big-screen market.

And it's Korea that's seen as the innovator, while Japan plays catch-up.

Although Hitachi is shuttering its facility in Gifu when it comes to TV production, it has announced that the factory will not be completely closed – instead it will morph into a producer of projectors and chips.

Via What HiFi


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