Over the past two decades we've seen an explosion of growth in the market for liquid crystal displays, but this growth has also led to its maturation. Companies have scaled up and merged, new firms have brought down costs and production technology has continued to advance, resulting in a cut-throat market for LCDs that offers negligible profit margins. So as we often see in these cases, another competitor is getting ready to bow out: Panasonic is announcing that it will exit production of LCDs by 2021.

This has been a long time in the marking for Panasonic; the company once used to be a leading maker of televisions, but because of intense competition from Chinese and South Korean manufacturers, previously ceased making LCD TVs in 2016. Instead, in recent years the company has focused on production of LCDs for industrial and automotive applications in order to find a more profitable niche of the LCD market. But it looks like even specialization did not produce the kind of returns required by Panasonic, and as a result they are exiting the LCD market altogether. It is interesting to note, however, that they aren't leaving the displays market entirely; the company will continue offering OLED televisions.

Panasonic Liquid Crystal Display Co. — the IPS LCD plant in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture — was established in 2010 and absorbed all of Panasonic’s LCD assets in 2014. According to Nikkei, Panasonic plans to repurpose the factory to produce automotive batteries and keep all of its 500 employees. Workers who will not be needed at the new facility will be relocated to other facilities that belong to Panasonic and/or will get labor management consultations.

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Source: Panasonic, Nikkei

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  • haukionkannel - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    This is bad... less companies to produce screens... less competition = higher prices...
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    welcome to oligarch market economics. vote Trump. he'll fix it with help from his Russian Friends.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    -->Japanese company cant compete against south korean and chinese manufacturers
    -->Japanese company announces it will pull out of market
    -->market downturn occurred during 2010s, when obama administration was in power
    -->muh trump.
    -->muh russia

    Kindly STFU. Take your trump derangement syndrome to Reddit where it belongs. This has nothing to do with trump, or politics in general. This is simply the business of Western countries being unable to compete with sweatshop working conditions and lack of environmental protections or regulations in general provided by china's oppressive communist government. Such "oligarch market economics" exist in socialist Europe, communist china, and capitalist USA, and have existed for decades regardless of political ideology.

    As long as people prefer paying as little as possible for electronics and other goods, this will only continue to occur.
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    "Kindly STFU. "

    You can't fix a problem if you choose to ignore it. Trump claims that tariffing up our sphincters *will* fix the problem. He says so. Don't you believe him? Just because other countries support oligarch market economics doesn't mean we should. If you believe that excessive market concentration causes bad results in prices of goods and services, then do something about it. Just claiming that "it's always been this way", doesn't fix the problem. Tariffs haven't either.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    *You can't fix a problem if you choose to ignore it*

    You should take your own advice. A globalized market means you are competing with the lowest bidder. If an oppressive communist regime runs one of those countries, where you can pay $1 a day to get labor done, then your $15 an hour western labor will never be cost effective. Welcome to global economics 101.

    There are ways to fix this. Refusing to trade with said oppressive countries would make it significantly easier for your native industries to compete. Placing tariffs on their goods to negate their slave labor wage rates also works. The country in question could also raise their own living standards to the equivalent of western countries, but you cant do that with the CCP in power.

    This problem existed long before trump was elected, affects more then just the USA, and will exist as long as the post industrial western world continues to trade freely with underdeveloped asian countries that work for pennies.

    You should write up an example of how you would fix this problem while maintaining open trade with asia's $2 a day labor rates, since you seem to know so much better then any president or administration in history.
  • gfkBill - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    "The country in question could also raise their own living standards to the equivalent of western countries, but you cant do that with the CCP in power."

    Modern China and it's half-billion-strong newly-minted middle class would like to disagree with you. Downtown Beijing looks like downtown NY. Wage rates in BJ, Shanghai are already close to Western.
  • Santoval - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    "The country in question could also raise their own living standards to the equivalent of western countries, but you cant do that with the CCP in power."
    It depends on how exactly you define "living standards", or more specifically to whom these standards apply. China used to have a small filthy rich minority, a huge piss poor majority and barely no middle class between them. Today the filthy rich minority remains but they also have a very sizable middle class.

    For these hundreds of millions of people the living standards *were* raised roughly to the equivalent of western countries. However these are not the people who work at Chinese factories (well, many of them do, but as managers or engineers, not as workers). The piss poor people of China are now fewer but there are still hundreds of millions of them.

    It is still not possible to raise the living standards (to at least a Western middle class level) for *everyone*. If it was China's GDP would have not only surpassed that of the US (that will happen rather soon) but it would be 4 to 5 times as high, which is ridiculous. That might happen in two to three decades but it cannot happen today. It is not as undesirable as you think though. When/if that happens China will be by far the richest country in the world, and so they will have no trouble to import workers from poorer countries.
  • Beaver M. - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Tariffs have contained the problem for dozens other countries for many many decades.
    Now that Trump does it, hes the bad guy? You have no clue whatsoever and just follow the hypocritical propaganda cries of said countries.
  • melgross - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    Uh, you need to bow out of the politics as well, you’re no better than him.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    False equivalency. I didnt tell him to bow out of politics, just his Trump Derangement Syndrome. Blaming a single man for an economic situation is a waste of oxygen. No different then those that blindly follow Trump or any other president and consider his actions Gospel.

    I have provided rebuttals for his arguments. The best response to a bad argument is a good argument.

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