updated 08:30 am EST, Fri March 7, 2008
Pioneer Halts Own Plasma
Pioneer on Friday morning said it would stop manufacturing its own plasma TV panels in an attempt to reverse mounting losses at the company. While the KURO maker intends to stay in the plasma TV industry, it hopes to create a "leaner" business focused primarily on design and will outsource production of the screens themselves to other firms. Current expectations have the company drawing on Panasonic as the source for Pioneer's displays.
The official news confirms previous indications that Pioneer would halt at least some of its plasma production and follows after a deal in 2007 which saw Pioneer sign a deal to use LCD displays from Sharp for smaller-size displays, reflecting the major shift in the market towards the less expensive and more scalable LCD technology.
Pioneer has encountered four consecutive years of losses and posted a $146 million loss in the most recent year, though this is in part due to the company's decision to write off its plasma production business. The company would otherwise have posted a profit.