updated 04:40 pm EDT, Thu September 18, 2008
Hitachi announces changes
Hitachi on Thursday announced significant changes in its operations for LCD and plasma HDTV production. The announcement comes after earlier promises of upcoming changes, spurred by $1,062 million in lost profits in fiscal year 2007. The majority of the loss stemmed from HDTV business. The electronics maker said it would focus on offering higher-value HDTVs in order to better compete with other HDTV makers, including integrating Internet access into future products. Video content on the web available thus far only via computers will be made accessible to Hitachi HDTV users via the company's website.
The electronics manufacturer also plans to save on manufacturing costs by buying glass panel components from Panasonic for its plasma HDTV sets. Currently, Hitachi manufactures the panels at its Hitachi Plasma Display Limited operations, which will continue to build panel modules but also focus on manufacturing other products under the Hitachi Group umbrella that are expected to grow. As well, Hitachi will partner up with Panasonic on developing next-generation LCD and plasma HDTVs that are thinner, more efficient and distinct from their competition. The company will begin purchasing plasma panels built by Panasonic on the fiscal year that begins on March 31, 2010.
As for LCD HDTVs, the company will continue to source them from IPS Alpha Technology, into which Panasonic and other HDTV makers have invested.