Panasonic has persuaded Japanese banks to throw it a lifeline after a record loss of ¥772.1bn (£6bn, $9.8bn) last fiscal year. The heavy loss dropped the electronics group's cash reserves to ¥554.7bn (£4.4bn, $7bn) which still sounds like a fair amount but not when compared to the ¥1.97trn (£15.9bn, $25bn) it could lay its hands …
¥600bn in loans
That sounds more like a noose than a lifeline.
Whatever control the Matsushita family still had over the corporation is likely now diluted to homeopathic levels.
[grim reaper icon required}
Re: ¥600bn in loans
Ahh back to when they were called Matsushita, had several nice products from them. Sorry you just reminded me. Nothing really to add.
Wouldn't happen in the UK of course.
In the UK the poor bloody tax-payer bails out the Banks so they can afford to pay their bonuses and still refuse to lend.
It sounds like a huge gamble by the banks and by Panasonic. The world stops spending so much so people stop buying their product.
Down scaling would usually be the answer, keep a large portion of your r&d departments operating for when things pick up again, but reduce the production element and other support / operational areas.
They appear to have gone for the, keep everything the way it is, keep making things we know aren't selling... and now there's also interest to pay when / if we're still around when the world starts to spend again.
Actually better than Samsung
Samsung's online reputation exercise has been a colossal victory for them. As it happens Panasonic TVs are actually better, to my eye at least.
Re: Actually better than Samsung
I've got a plasma Panasonic TV - according to Consumer Reports, a better picture and more reliable than Samsung.
Pity, they have made some really nice stuff...
Panasonic cameras and stereos are among my least regretted purchases... but as I seem to buy it all second hand or on closeout special, I'm of no use to them at all. =:^/
I'm going to buy an Panasonic LX-7 camera next month, so that should help them out a bit.
People won't pay for quality
Panasonic is my personal favourite electronics brand for quality and service, based on a lifetime of experience with a lot of gear. Unfortunately being the quality leader is perhaps not the best position to be in during a recession when people are looking for the latest features at the lowest prices.
Whilst they sell PVRs with adverts in their EPGs I will not buy anything from them
Build, sell, dump
Today we have expectations that a very complex product might not be 100% when it's first sold but it will be 100%, or even better, with a software upgrade that comes out soon after the purchase. What I've been seeing more and more of is that companies sell their tech long before it's ready and then immediately abandon it. Customers feel cheated and boycott the brand for years. That's the experience I got with a very expensive Panasonic TV (MPEG4 never implemented, Netflix failing, YouTube failing) and a very expensive Panasonic HD video camera (false resolution claims, missing software, and AVCHD metadata is incorrect). My mother had that experience with an upscale Panasonic microwave oven (blew internal fuses due to a power inverter design flaw).
The best news for Panasonic is that their competitors are doing this too. The bad news is that people may spend their money on non-tech instead.
Re: Build, sell, dump
Fair point. But of course, all human enterprise is fallible, and it's perhaps consmer complacency itself which leads to some manufacturers being consistently perceived as "gold standard" when actually, they never were, nor ever could be. Time was, based on products bought way-back-when, I would always look to Pansonic and Sony, and no other manufacturer. But last year, a new Sony TV turned out to be, well, awful and had to be replaced after various problems and then earlier this year, when I was about to buy a replacement for my much-loved Panasonic Lumix TZ3 camera, I suddenly discovered numerous complaints on the 'Net about major Quality Control problems with the latest Lumix models -- and, worse, Panasonic's seeming determination to wriggle out of warranty responsibility.
I don't have much use for Public Relations as a 'profession' but it's not just money that a manufacturer needs to make nowadays, it's a good image, too: no point in borrowing billions when your past customers have been scared off and gone elsewhere.
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