During the period when Japan's electronics industry still depended mainly on trading companies for overseas trade, Matsushita Electric Trading was already established to promote exports and expand sales routes throughout Southeast Asia. This was based on the philosophy of co-existence and mutual prosperity.Panasonic Corporate History
In parallel with the promotion of exports, the construction of overseas sales bases progressed and expanded. There were new buildings, a branch office, and a representative office in Manila. By 1937, six overseas bases were opened, and efforts turned toward creating markets.
The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, dispatched three executives led by Tetsujiro Nakao, later a Senior Technical Adviser, for the company's first observational tours of Europe and the U.S. In Europe, the executives visited Germany, the U.K., France, and the Netherlands among other countries. The tour included visits to Siemens and other factories. This tour paved the way for the start of Panasonic's relationship with Europe.
Panasonic dispatched an employee to Mexico, which was a large market for wiring equipment at the time, making him the company’s first representative in Latin America.
In January, the founder, Konosuke Matsushita departed for a 3-month observation tour of the U.S. to gather information and expand the company's global vision. There were major differences between Japan and the U.S., and Konosuke felt that there were many things that could be learned from foreign electronics technology. In October, he traveled to the U.S. once again, in search of specific technical tie-ups. He also traveled around Europe during this trip, and returned to Japan in December.Corporate History | Panasonic
Strongly feeling the need to manage from a global viewpoint, Konosuke visited the U.S. in October of this year. He followed with visits to 4 European countries: the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the U.K. Until his return to Japan in December of the same year, he toured factories and other facilities in each country, and sought technical and business tie-ups with prominent corporations leading the electronics industry in Europe and the U.S.
* The photo shows Konosuke on an airplane headed for an observational tour of Europe and the U.S.
Tapping on the company's know-how of sales, networking channels and marketing activities that were acquired from operating in its domestic (Japanese) market, Panasonic applied the same principles to the Southeast Asian market. In essence a one-country, one-operation system was adopted.
Panasonic had a business relationship with the Dutch company Philips before WWII, and Philips contacted Panasonic after the war to request a continuation of their business relation. A technological and capital alliance with Philips was thus born in October of this year as a subsidiary named Matsushita Electronics Corporation. The CEO of Philips said that it was not just a matter of "giving technical assistance and receiving a technical assistance fee" but expressed this partnership as a "marriage" of both companies.Corporate History | Panasonic
In order to investigate overseas technologies and market trends as well as create a base for overseas expansion, the founder, Konosuke Matsushita opened the Matsushita Electric New York Office in October based on hopes that he developed during his first visit to the U.S. in 1951. In 1954, 20,000 vacuum tube type portable radios were exported to the U.S.
* The photo shows Konosuke in New York.
Since a market survey concerning exports to America revealed extremely large demand for radios, it was decided to begin by test-exporting 1,000 units of the PL-420 portable radio. This was the first step in opening up and expanding the U.S. market.Innovative Products: 4-tube 1-band portable radio
Starting this year, company employees were dispatched to Latin America to actively provide technical assistance. However, the export business failed to meet expectations due to import bans based on problems such as the local shortage of foreign currency. So it became necessary to switch from the conventional export of finished products to local production and the use of local capital.
The Panasonic trademark was first used for North American export speakers. Combining the prefix pan (wide/all) and sonic (sound), the notion was that the sounds created are heard throughout the world.
Following the WWII, Panasonic’s entry into Middle Eastern markets was relatively fast, even though there were few products geared for the electrical appliance market in 1952. Panasonic began dealing with miscellaneous goods using zinc plates, wiring, insulators, and vacuum bottles produced by other manufacturers. The company also began developing export products, such as irons, fans, and portable radios with vacuum tubes. This year, reliable agents were selected from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain, and business began.
Panasonic entered into a technical partnership with P.R. Mallory (currently Duracell), which was known for its development of mercury cell batteries. In 1965, National Mallory Battery was established as a joint venture between the two companies, and Panasonic’s first alkaline dry cell battery went on sale in 1967 as National Mallory Alkaline Batteries.
* The photo shows the Panasonic/Mallory joint stockholders meeting at which the founder, Konosuke Matsushita signed the joint venture agreement.
Market surveys were conducted for a period of about six months in Africa’s major markets, and business with local companies in Nigeria began. A special battery-powered radio model, the BT-152, was developed to meet local needs. This product was popular in the market and led to a major export achievement.
Indonesian President Sukarno, who believed that the spread of radios was an important measure toward unifying Indonesia, dispatched a team that included Mr. Mohammad Gobel, an entrepreneur, to procure radio kits from Japan.With his previous contribution, Mr. Gobel then got an opportunity to meet Konosuke and shared his thoughts on Indonesian trends, politics, economics and independence. He showed his devotion to these subjects. After their conversation, Konosuke accepted a business deal with Mr. Gobel's company, although it was small transaction.In 1960, Panasonic concluded a technical assistance contract with Mr. Gobel's company, which later led to the establishment of a joint venture.
In order to build a unique sales network overseas and to have a base for spreading the company's products, the existing New York Branch Office was strengthened to establish the company's first overseas sales company, Matsushita Electric Corporation of America.
* The photo shows the employees of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America at a party in 1965.
While building and achieving rapid development after WWII, Panasonic’s next objective was to become a global company that contributes to the growth and improvement of lives in countries around the world. To achieve this goal, Panasonic employees were dispatched to Europe, where post-war economic development was slowly progressing.
With the establishment of the National Thai Manufacturing Company, this year marked the beginning of the company's export activities, technical assistance for overseas countries, and the active construction of overseas factories. It also began the local production of dry cell batteries. This move was aligned with the company's policy of "thinking from a global viewpoint, and proceeding to work with the entire world in your scope."
In June, a Panasonic brand radio was exhibited for the first time at the Music Show in Chicago, which was the largest music and electrical product show at the time. In the show, the radio was highly acclaimed and the Panasonic brand was popular. Advance orders for the Christmas season were overwhelming. The company chartered a jet and flew 10,000 radios to the U.S. The initial phrase, "Panasonic by Matsushita" gradually became only Panasonic and the brand penetrated American lifestyles.
Around 1958, Panasonic’s mutual coexistence and co-prosperity philosophy and mission statement were featured in global newspapers and magazines including Time, Life, and the New York Times. Konosuke appeared on the cover of the February 23, 1962 issue of Time magazine. The article introduced his career, his thoughts, the dramatic development of Panasonic, and his management philosophy.
* The photo shows the Time magazine introducing Konosuke and Panasonic.Corporate History | Panasonic
In 1959, Panasonic dispatched employees to Europe to conduct market research. In order to compete equally with local manufacturers, it was necessary to have product inventory nearby and a quick delivery system. In 1962, Panasonic's first European sales company, Matsushita Electric Hamburg, was established as a system for delivering goods to various parts of Europe using Hamburg's free trade port.
* The photo shows the office of Matsushita Electric Hamburg at the time it was established.
Matsushita Electric (Taiwan) was established by capital participation with a local subsidiary that was producing and selling radios while receiving technical assistance from Panasonic. The aim of meeting three goals was promised to the Taiwanese government: to be self-supporting as a Taiwanese company by local staff; to manufacture products that are recognized as 1st-grade products in international markets; and to not require Japan's assistance with regard to technology or capital. Following this establishment, the demand for Panasonic products rapidly increased. Within only 4 to 5 years, the products handled by this company grew to include everything from TVs to rice cookers, refrigerators, washing machines, and even electronic components.
With an aim to improve people's lives in Myanmar, a delegation from Myanmar visited Japan to seek support from Konosuke Matsushita. The Ministry of Defense and Konosuke Matsushita then started the ‘Matsushita project’ (10-year term), by signing a contract to provide technical support and supply parts for household appliances.
Matsushita Electric Corporation of America was relocated to the 29th floor of the Pan Am Building in Manhattan, New York.
* The photo shows the Pan Am Building (currently the MetLife Building) in Manhattan, New York.
Matsushita Electric Trading established a representative office in Panama. In addition to promoting market research, the office worked to examine the possibility of local production and to search for suitable partners. As a result, it was determined that the dry cell battery market showed future promise. It was decided to proceed with development in Peru, Costa Rica, and Brazil, which allowed companies to enter the market with 100% foreign capital.
The company principle and mission of "Co-existence and Mutual Prosperity" was taken up by newspapers and magazines worldwide, such as Time, Life, and the New York Times, from about 1958 onward. The September 11th issue of Life magazine introduced Matsushita Electric and Konosuke Matsushita in an article titled "Meet Mr. Matsushita." In this article, they called the founder "a man with 5 faces: the ultimate industrialist, top earner, creative thinker, publisher, and best-selling author." They also rated him as a "pioneer with the combined talents of Henry Ford, the automotive king, and Horatio Alger (an influential American author)."
Jet fans are used to ventilate expressway tunnels. Panasonic began developing these fans in 1964, and made steady progress in their production. In December 1996, the company reached a cumulative total of 1,000 jet fans. They are presently installed in 150 locations in Japan, accounting for the top domestic market share. The "high-band tunnel" was completed in Vietnam in June 2005, as the company's first overseas tunnel ventilation project.
Panasonic cooperated with P.R. Mallory (currently Duracell) and founded National Mallory Battery. In 1967, Panasonic released its first alkaline dry cell as the "National Mallory alkaline dry battery."Panasonic later dissolved its partnership with P.R. Mallory in 1979, and merged the Panasonic Battery Division and National Mallory Battery to form Matsushita Battery Industrial.
Due to dry cell battery import restrictions imposed by the Malaysian government, the local agent asked Panasonic to set-up a manufacturing base in Malaysia. Matsushita Electric Company (Malaysia) was then established during this year as a joint venture. In 1966, shares for the joint venture were offered to the public in the Kuala Lumpur market. This made the company a first public-listed subsidiary, and enhanced Panasonic's brand image with the public as a "Malaysian company" now known as Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia.
Matsushita Electric of Puerto Rico was established to manufacture clock radios for the American market. In Mexico, National Mexicana was established as a joint venture with a local company.
Around this time, the importation of radios and black & white TVs were prohibited in Peru, but the potential for dry cell batteries was very promising and entry by a 100% foreign capital company was allowed. Because of these circumstances, Panasonic established National Peruana (Grupo Matsushita Electric del Perú), its first Central American manufacturing company, and began producing dry cell batteries.
Panasonic established National Centroamericana, a 100% wholly owned subsidiary, as the company’s first manufacturing company in South America. This company started manufacturing and marketing dry cell batteries.
The East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania all restricted the importation of dry cell batteries from Japan in 1965. Following this, Panasonic’s first African battery manufacturer, East Africa Matsushita Electric was established, and local production began due to strong demand from the local sales company in Africa’s British regional agency.
Panasonic participated in the 1st Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in the U.S. Since then, it has continued to exhibit at CES every year. The company received special recognition at the CES 50th anniversary in 2016 as the only enterprise to have exhibited every year since the first show.
In 1967, Matsushita Electric Costa Rica was established. After that, it became Panasonic Costa Rica in 1988 and in 2000, merged with Panasonic Guatemala and Panasonic El Salvador to become Panasonic Central America.
Matsushita Electric Brazil was established in Brazil, which was the largest market in South America at the time, as a 100% wholly owned sales company. In 1970, the company also began manufacturing dry cell batteries.
In 1967, Panasonic was exploring local investment opportunities from four companies in the Philippines - including Precision Electronics Corporation (PEC, now Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines). Executive Vice President Arataro Takahashi visited the country to evaluate each company's potential and eventually decided to do a joint venture with PEC. Hence, the production of TVs and stereo equipment began. With thorough improvements made in the areas of quality and finance, the joint venture began to achieve stable performance in the second year since its establishment.
In Australia, the main products being marketed were dry cell batteries, radios, and tape recorders. However, due to heavy import taxes on products such as TVs to protect the local industry, Matsushita Electric (Australia) was eventually established as an import substitution and production base.
Matsushita Electric France was established as Panasonic's first sales company to be responsible for an entire country. It began full-scale marketing activities in the French market.
Panasonic launched the "Mica 1" TR-001, the world's smallest black & white TV with a 1.5-inch CRT in the U.S. It made full use of advanced downsizing skills, which were the specialty of Japanese manufacturers. The "Mica 1" was also marketed in Japan the following year.
Philips Matsushita Battery was established in Belgium as a joint venture with Philips and was made possible because of Panasonic's 10 year cooperation with the company. It began the production of Hi-Top Size D batteries. Panasonic's technology and Philips' management were the driving factors of rolling out new high-quality dry-cell batteries in the European market.
In 1970, when the Indonesian government approved the establishment of joint venture companies, many Japanese manufacturers partnered with Chinese enterprises. During this period, Panasonic envisioned itself as "a company that will please the host country" as aligned with its principle on overseas expansion. Panasonic selected Mr. Gobel as a joint venture partner. He was a native Indonesian who had a business relationship with Panasonic for more than 10 years. Thus, National Gobel, a joint venture company, was established.
Panasonic submitted a listing application to the New York Stock Exchange in order to facilitate the distribution of its own securities in the US in line with the needs of domestic and foreign investors. While the listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange were considered to be extremely strict, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officially granted approval in mid-December and Panasonic shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. As a result of this listing, Panasonic increased its public awareness as an international company.
In 1971, a sales agreement between the company and Fisher & Paykel saw the introduction of National and Panasonic electronic products to the New Zealand market.
During the 1970s, the yen was changed from a fixed rate (1 USD = 360 yen) to a floating rate system, which gave Japan a strong currency value. In response to this situation, Panasonic invested 2 billion yen, approximately 17 million USD (an unprecedented amount at that time), to establish Singapore Matsushita Electric as an export base for compressors.
Matsushita Industrial Corporation (air conditioner exports) and the Matsushita Electronic Components (electronic components manufacturing) were established in Malaysia following the request of Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia's second prime minister, to export industrial components.The prime minister then attended the companies' opening ceremony in 1973, expressing his appreciation for their establishment.
In response to the Korean government's policy, Korea National Electric was established for the purpose of serving as a base for exporting color TVs mainly to America. Production began the next year, 1974, but subsequent changes in the market and the onset of stringent restrictions on the export of color TVs to America from 1979 onward, led to the dissolution of Korea National Electric.
Panasonic acquired the television division of Motorola, and established Quasar Electronics. This company inherited the Quasar brand. In 1979, it was renamed Quasar and in 1995, the company was dissolved.
National Electronic Components Brazil was established as Panasonic's first local parts business in Latin America. The company started the production of coils, transformers, adjustment knobs, speakers and so on.
* The photo shows President Toshihiko Yamashita touring a factory in 1982.
In order to reinforce overseas operating assets, it was decided to issue convertible bonds denominated in dollars with an aggregated face amount of 100 million dollars. Public subscription was implemented overseas, mainly in the U.S. These bonds were extremely popular with investors, and sold out quickly.
The RQ-543 radio cassette player, which was developed especially for the Middle East region, became a hit product, achieving cumulative sales of approximately 4.2 million units over a period of 15 years. In the same year, the "Cougar" RF-1150 portable radio was also launched and became a hit model, with a luxurious metallic color and large speaker.
The headquarters of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America was moved from New York City to a new facility in the Meadowlands section of Secaucus, New Jersey.
Panasonic established 3 specialized export factories: Matsushita Radio Singapore to manufacture audio products, Matsushita Precision Motor Singapore to manufacture AV and OA motors, and Matsushita Electronic Components Singapore to manufacture electronic devices.
In October of this year, China’s Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping visited the TV Division in Osaka, Japan, and stated, “I would like to ask for technical and managerial assistance.” To that end Panasonic’s business development in China began with the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, comfortably accepting and saying, “I will help you as much as possible.” In the next year, 1979, Konosuke visited China and held discussions with numerous government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Deng.
*The photo shows Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping and his party visiting the TV Division led by Konosuke.
In 1977, Panasonic sold its shares in National Mexicana, a joint venture established in Mexico in 1965 with a local enterprise. In order to secure a market, Panasonic began negotiations with the Mexican government, and in this year Panasonic established Panasonic Mexico. The new company started manufacturing and marketing radio cassettes, recorders, TVs, and components.
* The photo shows a ceremony for the first shipment of players in 1987.
Panasonic established the Matsushita Technical Center Singapore to transfer production technology from Japan to Singapore, in response to a request from the Singapore government.
In 1979, Konosuke made a trip to Malaysia to receive the Pangrima Mank Negara Award, which was the highest civilian order of Malaysia, and the Tan Sri title by the Malaysian government at the Prime Minister's official residence in Kuala Lumpur. This award was given in appreciation for the major contributions made to the industrial development of Malaysia since the establishment of Matsushita Electric Company (Malaysia) in 1965.
Panasonic’s business development in China began in October 1978 when Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping visited the the Panasonic TV Division. Konosuke then visited China the following year. In discussions with Deputy Prime Minister Deng and Deputy Premier Gu Mu, Konosuke promised to cooperate in the field of electronics to promote the modernization of China.
Panasonic entered the avionics business (AV systems used on aircraft) by designing and developing systems for passenger and crew member use that provided in-flight entertainment, communication, and maintenance services. The reliability of the initial products, which used radio downsizing technology, gained a reputation and today, Panasonic supports over 300 airline companies throughout the world. The systems provide comfortable in-flight environments to over one billion people every year.
*The photo shows entertainment and service systems delivered to aircraft manufacturers in 1980. (Consisting of audio, a reading lamp, and attendant call unit.)Panasonic Avionics: Connecting the Business and Pleasure of Flying
* The photo shows the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, visiting Matsushita Industrial de Baja California
Panasonic donated one million dollars to the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in the U.S. This fund led to the establishment of the Konosuke Matsushita Chair of Leadership. The Graduate School of Business Administration has chairs named for large universities and individuals, but this was the only one named for a person who was not an American citizen.
The Matsushita Electric Industry Exhibition, which was held in Chicago, gained popularity as an event to further strengthen the friendship between Japan and the U.S. through electronics.
When President Masaharu Matsushita visited Brazil in 1976, he inspected Manaus in the Amazon River outback, to which the country was aiming to attract foreign companies as a regional promotion measure, and decided on this location. As a result of several years of negotiations, the manufacture of televisions began in 1978 in partnership with Springer Amazonia in the country. The company expanded production steadily, and this year, a joint venture company with Brazilian National Corporation, Springer National da Amazonia was established.
* The photo shows the factory line of Springer National da Amazonia in 1986.
The International Electric Fan Manufacturing was established in Hong Kong. The company began the production of ceiling fans as the Panasonic Group's first re-exportation plant.
As trade friction between Japan and Europe increased, the local production of video, car radio and related electronic components was accelerated as anti-dumping measures. Starting with M.B. Video, this included the establishment of Matsushita Communication Deutschland, Matsushita Business Machine (Europe), Kyushu Matsushita Electric (U.K.), Matsushita Communication Industrial (U.K.), and Matsushita Graphic Communication Systems (U.K.).
The overseas headquarters was shifted to Matushita Electric Trading and split into 5 regions - North America Headquarters, Latin America Headquarters, Europe Headquarters, Asia & Oceania Headquarters, and Middle East & Africa Headquarters.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, an organization was founded to support public education systems in the U.S. Under the values of the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, and his philosophy of being a public entity of society, the foundation has also collaborated with education and community officials to ensure that all students have opportunities to receive public education that is not dependent on race, ethnicity, or economic environments, and it continues to provide various types of support to meet that goal.
In South America, which was aiming to break out of the debt crisis triggered by the Mexican currency crisis of 1982, countries started introducing economic liberalization and trade liberalization policies. In that spirit, Panasonic established Fuego National in Argentina this year as a result of the tax exemption benefit implemented as a depopulated region promotion policy by the Argentinean government. This company started the production of audio products.
Panasonic supplied a total of 73 "RAMSA" professional audio systems to all 26 venues of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984. From the PA systems to the sound sources via live satellite, Panasonic was entrusted to operate the entire system.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
Panasonic Finance (America) was established and issued its first 10-million-dollar commercial paper (CP). This CP officially acquired the highest rating of short-term bonds alongside the world’s top class corporations from the two largest rating agencies in the U.S. and streamlined short-term funding costs. In the following year, the company established Panasonic Finance in the Netherlands and the U.K. in May and issued a Euro CP of 100 million dollars in August. This issue marked the first time a Japanese company receives the highest grade rating, making it possible to procure funds for local production companies at low cost, and contributed greatly to the promotion of international business.
Beijing Matsushita Color CRT was established as the first joint venture in China, between Panasonic and the city of Beijing. The joint venture was clearly based on the basic Panasonic philosophy that "the country's most welcome industry should be selected." The cathode ray tube was chosen because it is a core part of the color TV that previously had to be imported. Production started two years later, in 1989.
Realizing that world peace is promoted through sports, Panasonic agreed with this philosophy and supported the Olympic Winter Games Calgary 1988. The company was introduced as a TOP (TOP sponsor) by the International Olympic Committee for the first time. Also for the first time as a Worldwide Official Partner, Panasonic provided equipment support for a number of broadcasting stations.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
In 1988, due to the growth of overseas business and international trading, Panasonic and Matsushita Electric Trading merged and began operating on the basis of a unified overseas management system.Corporate History | Panasonic
In tandem with the rising of the curtain for the Olympic Games Seoul 1988, Panasonic provided Korea's KBS broadcasting company MII cassette tape, a new metal tape that was capable of high image quality analog recording, having evolved from the popular VHS. In addition, the company provided the MII VTR system to NBC for broadcasting the Olympic Games to the U.S.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
In recognition of the European Commission market integration of 1992, Panasonic reorganized Matsushita Electric U.K. as European regional headquarters and established Panasonic Europe.
In 1989, Matsushita Electric (Singapore) was reorganized to form Matsushita Electric Asia in order to propel its overseas business in Southeast Asia, and strengthen its support of local activities. The new company oversaw the main management, R&D, and employee training for overseas companies in ASEAN countries.
KWN (Kid Witness News) is a global educational program through which Panasonic supports video production by students from elementary to high school. This year, 19 public schools in the U.S. participated. Children, by themselves, selected subjects and learned about social tasks and teamwork through the processes of planning, interviewing, shooting, and editing. KWN has gradually expanded into multiple countries, and 180,000 children have participated so far (as of 2016).
Panasonic, which entered the field of avionics (In-Flight Entertainment System) in 1979, established the Matsushita Avionics Development Corporation in Irvine, California, in June 1990. The company began with around a dozen employees with the aim of developing an interactive entertainment system for aircraft passengers.
Panasonic acquired the American entertainment giant MCA with Universal Pictures, etc., as affiliates. Utilizing the synergy between the company's rich video content and the Panasonic AV business, it was a large acquisition that aimed at creating a new business for the 21st century from the fusion of hardware and software.
* Partially sold in 1995, and completely sold in 2006.Corporate History | Panasonic
Brazil's Springer National da Amazonia and Springer National Electronic Components were united to establish Springer Panasonic da Amazonia.
Matsushita Storage Battery Corporation of America was established as a production base for sealed-lead storage batteries. In 1993, the company name was changed to Matsushita Battery Industrial of America.
In 1991, the Matsushita Air-Conditioning R&D Center Malaysia was established to conduct R&D (Research & Development) on air conditioners. This was followed in 1997 by setting up the Matsushita Compressor & Motor R&D Center to develop compressors and products that catered to the local climate and lifestyles. This marked an excellent achievement by the company.
For the Olympic Winter Games Albertville 1992, Panasonic delivered a compact ENG system based on 1/2-inch cassette high-definition VTRs, which enabled highly mobile image acquisition and HD broadcasting. The company also conducted an advertising campaign as the worldwide sponsor for video-related equipment and developed a global retail store sales promotion. Product cartons were introduced with a design focusing primarily on the five-ring Olympic emblem, which greatly increased video sales.In addition, more than 800 microwave ovens were also supplied to the Athletes' Village and other facilities to help support the daily lives of the athletes and related personnel.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
At the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992, Panasonic’s D-3 professional digital broadcasting equipment was used for the first time at Olympic host broadcasting stations. This was accomplished with digital broadcasting equipment, including approximately 1,200 digital VTRs for broadcasting, 160 video system cameras for recording, and 2,000 monitor TVs.The broadcasting staff from each country’s station also marveled at the beauty of these digital images, and the image of the Barcelona games was claimed to have a “Beauty unlike any other previous Olympic Games.”Panasonic Olympic Special Site
In the 1990s, China, where the demand for TVs and video decks was increasing, was focused on as a base for business development next to the Asia Pacific region. Following the establishment of three companies -- Hangzhou Kanamatsu Washing Machine, Beijing Matsushita Communication Equipment, and Guangzhou Matsushita and Banba Irons -- in this year, manufacturing facilities of various products were founded across China.
Panasonic launched its first integrated audio/video system for personal in-flight entertainment. It has since delivered systems to airlines all over Europe and around the world.
* The photo shows the "System 2000."
Panasonic acquired all shares of Matsushita Electronic Corporation from Philips of the Netherlands. Matsushita Electronic Corporation was the first joint venture established by Panasonic and Philips, back in 1952. It was a collaboration as a result of the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, visiting leading companies in the U.S. and Europe and studying each company based on the thought that technology collaboration with advanced companies in Europe and the U.S. was indispensable for future development.
* The photo shows the signing ceremony for purchasing Matsushita Electronic Corporation shares.
Panasonic and Philips invested 50% each to establish Philips Matsushita Battery Poland. This production base in the country formed a foothold in central Europe, which was a former communist zone market.
With the establishment of manufacturing factories all over China in the first half of the 1990s, the Panasonic Group increased the need for a comprehensive company that would be responsible for more efficient and unified marketing and various business support activities. China still had strict restrictions on foreign capital, but this year, President Morishita held discussions with Vice Premier Zhu Rongji. Panasonic established Matsushita Electric (China), which was the first comprehensive business support company to be formed as a multinational manufacturer, with recognition of past experience in the country.
* Matsushita Electric (China) underwent self-utilization conversion in 2002 and was renamed Panasonic China in 2005.
The Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994 was the first time for Panasonic to expand its support category to cover all AV-related equipment. In conjunction with this, the company installed more than 2,500 TVs in addition to its video equipment. This helped greatly with the operation of the Olympic Games, and a worldwide AV campaign significantly raised the public awareness of Panasonic as an Olympic sponsor.At the Olympic Games, a 1/2-inch cassette high-definition VTR with slow-motion function was used for the first time to render the excitement and passion of the competition in vivid images.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
In addition to Western Europe, Panasonic established Central Europe Matsushita TV to respond to the predictably large TV demand in Eastern Europe and CIS markets to form the largest TV production base next to the U.K. This marked the first entry of a Japanese company into Czechoslovakia, and the full cooperation from the Czechoslovakian government made it possible for Panasonic to start operation in a short time. Later, production was also shifted from the U.K., enabling the production of 50 TV models.
A year-round call center service was begun for customers in Japan and North America. This 365-day call center was the industry's first and this high level of customer support became an active topic of conversation.
At the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996, Panasonic served for the first time as prime contractor for the host broadcasting companies, providing full support to the IBC (International Broadcast Center) for everything from design to management. The company also delivered various types of broadcasting equipment, including 300 digital cameras.At the event, Panasonic challenged “making new images” with special cameras. Praise was received from the TV crews of the world and the staff of the broadcasting stations about the crystal-clear replay with no blurring achieved by super-slow motion cameras. An Astrovision display of 100 square meters in size was also set up at the main stadium to further amplify the passion and excitement of the venue.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
Panasonic CIS was established in Helsinki to serve as the CIS business base. At the same time, representative offices were also established in Moscow, Kiev, and Almaty. Following this start, a local subsidiary, Panasonic Russia, was established in 2005, followed by Panasonic Ukraine in 2011, to advance the localization of operations. Also, what began as the sales of mainly TVs has now diversified into a range extending from home appliances to B2B. For more than 20 years, business has sprouted firm roots in Russia and the CIS countries.
In New York, "Astrovision," a large-sized image display device that had previously been delivered to baseball stadiums and the Los Angeles Olympic Stadium, was installed in Times Square. As the face of Manhattan, it contributed to the city's life.
* The photo shows Kunio Nakamura (Panasonic Managing Director/Director, Corporate Management Division for North America) and William L. Bolster (CNBC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (NBC Cable Division)) at an Astrovision Lighting Ceremony.
A resident office was established in 1990, and a Middle East Headquarters was established in 1991 in Dubai, U.A.E. The first Middle East sales company, Panasonic Gulf Company, was also established. Re-exporting began to neighboring countries.
Part of the headquarter functions were shifted to Miami, which is near to Latin America, and the Latin America Center was established to provide assistance activities to local companies. In 1998, it was changed to Matsushita Electric Latin America, an independent corporation.
The company established the Panasonic Scholarship system as an 80th anniversary project. Later, in March 2016, this was discontinued as a constructive step, leading the way to creating a new Panasonic Scholarship Asia system to provide financial support for students enrolled in universities in Asian countries and regions as a community-based, next-generation training support system.Panasonic Scholarship Asia
Coinciding with the start of digital TV broadcasting in 1998 in the U.K. and U.S., Panasonic launched a digital TV and adaptor (set-top box) capable of receiving all 18 digital terrestrial broadcast formats in October of this year, in the U.S., a step ahead of the industry. For Europe, Panasonic launched a set-top box compatible with interactive digital satellite broadcasts from the U.K.’s BIB.Innovative Product: Digital TVs for the U.S.
Panasonic New Zealand was officially established in 1998. To date, it has 115 employees across Christchurch, Wellington and its headquarters in Auckland, and continues to be part of the fabric of New Zealand.
The company signed an agreement with Toshiba and SanDisk for comprehensive, mutual cooperation in the joint development, standardization, and spread of the copyright protected SD Memory Card, a compact memory card. It was announced that they aimed to start mass production from 2000 with capacities of 32 and 64 MB.
* SD Memory Cards and their application products were promoted at the 2000 CES.
Matsushita Gobel Battery Industry and Panasonic Battery Indonesia merged to form Matsushita Gobel Battery Indonesia.
At the Olympic Games Sydney 2000, following in the footsteps of Olympic Games Atlanta 1996 and the Olympic Winter Games Nagano 1998, Panasonic was consistently responsible for the design, building and maintenance of a fully digital broadcasting system as the foundation of the IBC (International Broadcast Center). The system took 2 years to complete and it delivered the spirited Olympic competition to the world through crystal-clear images.Two large-screen Astrovision devices were also installed at the main stadium, which boasted the largest scale ever compared with past Olympic events. In addition, even at the special live site in Sydney, the excitement of the Olympic Games was conveyed with powerful images.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
Costa Rica Panasonic, which was established in 1988, was unified with Guatemala Panasonic and El Salvador Panasonic in 2000 to form Panasonic Centroamericana.
Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory was established in Hollywood, home to world-class movie creators in April.HOLLYWOOD TO YOUR HOME
Panasonic launched its first full-digital AV on-demand in-flight entertainment system. AV data is compressed in the MPEG format and stored in the server, then distributed to each seat by a unique data distribution technology. High-quality, multichannel audio, video, and game content can be freely enjoyed at each seat, allowing passengers to use it at anytime.
* The photo shows the "System 3000."
Asia Matsushita Electric was converted into a regional headquarters, hence marking the beginning of Panasonic Asia Pacific.
Based on a localization policy of “moving export and sales activities close to the market,” Panasonic Marketing Middle East Company was established in Dubai, U.A.E. as a Middle East regional sales base.
Matsushita Electric Peru and Panasonic Peru were merged to establish Panasonic Peruana S.A.
At the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake 2002, Panasonic delivered a broadcasting system that worked without problems even in extremely cold places by taking advantage of the years of experience that the company accumulated. High-quality digital, international video was produced and delivered through digital broadcasting equipment, such as digital VTRs and broadcasting camera recorders. Panasonic also contributed to the Paralympic Winter Games Salt Lake 2002 through the supply of various equipment.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
For the Olympic Games Athens 2004, Panasonic provided about 400 digital VTRs, 200 professional AV system cameras, and about 2,000 monitors, including plasma TVs. In addition, the main stadium and venues featured 16 Astrovision devices in total. These Astrovisions handled part of the dramatic production, such as tilting the huge screens in accordance with the movement of the torch during the torch lighting event in the opening ceremony. Panasonic also contributed to the Paralympic Games Athens 2004 through the supply of various equipment.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
Panasonic Mexico held the Panasonic Expo in this year to commemorate its 25th anniversary since it was founded in 1978. Over 38,000 participants attended to enjoy a wide range of content, from exhibitions showcasing the company’s history, latest products and technologies to a concert.
The number of TVs produced in Mexico, which started in 1988, reached a total of 3 million units.
* Directive restricted the use of certain hazardous substances contained in electrical and electronic equipment and was scheduled to be enforced in July 2006 by the EU. Panasonic responded proactively by formulating a policy not to use the target substances in any products to be shipped from April 2015 onwards.
*Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS).
Panasonic's first business base for recycling-related operations, called Ene EcologyNet Europe, was established in Wiesbaden, Germany. In order to comply with the German eWaste legislation while providing low-cost, high-efficiency recycling business, this company mediated between manufacturers and the logistics and recycling companies.
Matsushita Electric Vietnam and Matsushita Home Appliances Vietnam were previously established to produce AV products and home appliances, respectively. In 2005, the Vietnamese government approved the founding of a company with 100% foreign-owned holding functions. Panasonic Vietnam was thus established as a unified holding company.
At the Olympic Games Torino 2006, in addition to DVCPRO 50 broadcasting equipment, DVCPRO HD, which records high-definition video, was used as the official video recording format. Furthermore, the industry-first, semiconductor memory equipped P2 HD camcorder was used, and for the sixth consecutive time since the Atlanta Olympic Games, Panasonic supplied equipment to the host stations and IBC (International Broadcast Center).A record-breaking 29 Astrovision devices were also used. Panasonic also became an official partner at the Paralympic Games Torino 2006 for the first time, and supported this event as well.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
Panasonic's Products have been sold through distributors in Chile since 1966, but this year the distributor contracts were terminated and Panasonic Chile was established.
At the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, Panasonic provided a full line of HD technology to the competition venues, broadcasting sites, and families around the world, capturing the event. This was the first time ever for the official images to be produced in Full-HD. A total of 25 Astrovision devices, which had achieved higher brightness and energy savings by the use of LED lighting, were installed in 18 venues.At the Paralympic Games Beijing 2008, Panasonic installed HD broadcasting equipment for the IBC (International Broadcast Center) and supplied audio and video equipment to each of the venues for the Paralympic Games.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
Panasonic participated in the 400th anniversary of Japan-Mexico relations exhibition held in Mexico under the themes of 3D technology and eco solutions. During the event, Mexican President Felipe Calderón visited the Panasonic booth and provided his signature to the “Eco Ideas Declaration.”
* The photo shows Mr. Calderón, President of Mexico in Panasonic booth
Panasonic announced a partnership with Tesla Motors, and decided to collaborate on developing next-generation batteries for electric vehicles. In 2017, Panasonic signed a contract with Tesla to expand the supply of EV lithium ion batteries. In 2014, Panasonic and Tesla began joint operation of Gigafactory, the world's largest lithium ion battery factory.[Press Release] Panasonic and Tesla Sign Agreement for the Gigafactory(Jul 31, 2014)
At the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010, Panasonic provided a news reporting system utilizing semiconductor memory, called the P2HD Series, instead of tape, to the IBC (International Broadcast Center) together with other HD broadcasting equipment. An HD video communications system was also installed, allowing Full-HD images and clear sounds to reduce the distance between venues and the Athletes' Village.Newly developed, high-brightness LED display systems were installed in 15 venues, making a total of 29 displays to relay the passion of the competition scenes.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
Panasonic Risupia Vietnam opened in Hanoi as the second facility of its kind worldwide, following the first one in Japan. It is a thematic communication space based on science and mathematics, and aims to help Vietnamese children cultivate an interest in those subjects. Next to the Risupia space is a showroom where Panasonic's advanced technologies are displayed.
The Panasonic Wiring Devices Factory launched production and shipping operations in 1994. Since then, they have produced 378 different types of wiring devices, and have shipped a cumulative total of 100 million devices to the domestic market.
he Eco Village solution, which included 98 solar panels, in-room lighting and air conditioning, and a Green Room Controller System used to remotely control and manage them in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This solution contributed to reducing the hotel’s overall power consumption, improving services and enhancing the eco image of the facilities.[Topics] Panasonic and Sandals Resorts unveil 'Eco Village' in Jamaica (Dec 20, 2011)
Panasonic's Cambodia representative office opened in Phnom Penh. Cambodia has been recognized as a country with high potential, bolstered by the country's positive outlook for foreign investment.
Panasonic installed 26 DLP projectors for the opening and closing ceremony venue of the Olympic Games London 2012. A brightness of 20,000 lumens brought the stadium to life with dazzling images. The company also supported the first-ever 3D Olympic ceremonies with advanced 3D equipment and technologies. For the Paralympic Games London 2012, Panasonic installed Full-HD video equipment in the IBC (International Broadcast Center). Full-HD images were transmitted throughout the Olympic Stadium and to homes around the world.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
A new factory for large-scale appliances was opened in Extrema, Brazil. This factory, which served as a state-of-the-art manufacturing base for facilities, construction methods and product designs, began production of refrigerator and after washing machines in 2014.
The first Comprehensive Eco Solutions in Latin America was delivered to major electronic retailer Alkosto which opened in Cali, the third largest city in Colombia. Included in the construction were an 118-kW solar system (500 solar panels), a 40-ton industrial air-conditioning system, 130 security cameras and 200 straight fluorescent LED sets. The store also serves as a showroom for Panasonic's system solutions.[Topic] First Comprehensive Eco Solutions Retail Outlet Showcase in Latin America (Mar 25, 2013)
President Tsuga gave the opening keynote speech on the first day of the 2013 International CES held in January of this year in Las Vegas, USA. CES is the world's largest-scale consumer electronics show. From B2C to B2B, the company provides a global view of its diverse range of businesses and future directions along with prototypes and actual products.Corporate History | Panasonic
In order to contribute to the improvement of the social life of emerging and developing countries, Panasonic started a project to donate a total of 100,000 solar lanterns in preparation for its founding centennial in 2018. Lanterns have been donated mainly to developing countries in Asia and Africa, for people living without electricity in some 30 countries. The lanterns are used, for example, to allow people to study and receive medical care at night.Panasonic 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project
The head office of Panasonic Corporation of North America was moved to a new facility in Newark, New Jersey.Panasonic North America
The first indoor vegetable farm was set up in Singapore and certified by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. The crops are cultivated in a controlled environment (i.e., temperature, humidity, CO2), and use technology such as artificial lighting. The locally harvested crops are of premium quality and pesticide-free, and the company aims to achieve approximately 5% of its local production by March 2021.[Topics] Panasonic Indoor Vegetable Farm Offers More Opportunities for Farm-To-Table Experience (Nov 18, 2015)
Panasonic supported the production of timely and high-quality international images at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, using a workflow based on networking with the AVC-Intra100 Full-HD digital format.For the ice hockey main venue, a large, suspended screen was installed that was 6.5 meters high and 30 meters in circumference. There were no joints and the ribbon-type screen practically surrounded the stadium, providing unprecedented feelings of passion and excitement. A total of 10,000 surveillance cameras and various other equipment were installed for the Paralympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
In October, Panasonic entered into a stock purchase agreement with ViKO, the top manufacturer of wiring equipment in Turkey. As a result, mid- to long-term growth is expected in the Turkish market and its neighboring countries and Panasonic aimed to fully expand the electrical construction materials business such as wiring equipment, low-voltage circuit equipment, building and automation systems, and smart meters.
Aiming at Japanese-German collaboration, a cogeneration system was jointly developed by Panasonic and the Viessmann Group of Germany, a leader in the European heating industry, based on residential fuel cells that produce clean electrical power by a chemical reaction with hydrogen extracted from natural gas. The efficient use of primary energy made it possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to approximately half compared with the existing boilers. The company launched Europe's first ordinary sales in April 2014.[Press Release] Panasonic and Viessmann to Sell Europe's First Fuel Cell Cogeneration System for Home (Sep 10, 2013)
A stadium solution that included a 77.4-square meter large LED screen, 250 digital signage systems, a security system that includes 330 cameras and an IT and communication system was delivered to the , a new stadium that was constructed in Mato Grosso, Brazil. This was the first stadium solution case implemented in the country.Arena Pantanal Stadium Debuts in Brazil with Panasonic's Wide Variety of AV and Security Solutions (Apr 28, 2014)
Panasonic China held a celebration in Beijing for the 35th anniversary of Chinese operations. Approximately 300 government officials and business-related guests attended the celebration, together with representatives of around 100 media companies. In a speech, Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga relayed the history of the company's Chinese operations while describing the future goals of the Panasonic Group.Panasonic Celebrates 35 Years in China
Following Tokyo and Osaka, China's first aesthetic self treatment and powder room, CLUXTA,
* was opened. Utilizing Panasonic's beauty lounge concept that originated in Japan, CLUXTA is gathering widespread attention as a powder room designed for women to achieve a high-class level of living through advanced technology.Panasonic China (in Chinese)
Panasonic installed the world’s largest
* 4K video device (171 feet wide and 90 feet high) and advanced audio system in the Churchill Downs Racetrack in the U.S. While preserving the prestigious history and traditions of this race track, the new system allowed an unprecedented 75,000 spectators to watch races in extreme detail.
* As of April 23, 2014. According to a Panasonic survey.Panasonic Large Screen Solutions - Enhance the Fan Experience (Feb 10, 2016)
Panasonic installed a digital signage system, called the "Digital Media Center," in the "Arena da Baixada," which was the stadium that held the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It was Brazil's first* of its kind, allowing even spectators in distant seats to clearly see the plays on TV screens mounted throughout the stadium.[Topics] Panasonic Installed the First Digital Signage System Giving Fans Full Visibility from Everywhere at Arena da Baixada in Brazil (Jan 20, 2016)
A total of 333 projectors were installed for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, centering on models with 20,000 lumens of brightness. As an Official Ceremony Partner for the opening and closing ceremonies, Panasonic helped to produce stunningly beautiful projection mapping displays. A Sports Visual Judging System was also installed for the first time in these games. Utilizing video shooting technologies and playback functions for AV solutions that the company accumulated over the years, the system enabled highly precise sports judgements. Also in the Paralympic Games Rio 2016, the company became the first Japanese enterprise to serve as Worldwide International Paralympic Partners, and supported the Games by providing a wide variety of solutions.Panasonic Olympic Special Site
Panasonic Brazil acquired Digital Full Service, which has a high market share in the country’s food-service industry in the digital signage business. By acquiring the company, whose major businesses included equipment integration, installation and maintenance, and content generation and distribution services, Panasonic aimed to expand its business model of selling solutions and value chains primarily based on digital signage systems.
Panasonic Solution & Innovation Center Vietnam, the Product Automation Showroom in Southeast Asia, was aimed at showcasing highly efficient manufacturing technologies and equipment. The Innovation Center featured not only Panasonic’s latest chip mounter and welding machine, but also peripheral equipment from other partners which included component towers and inspection machines. This synergy highlighted the importance of network compatibility and technological interconnectedness, and contributed to the success of Industry 4.0 and the IoT-supported manufacturing line.
Panasonic AP China was established in Zhejiang Province as a new company integrating China's home appliance business.
A new factory was established in Dalian, China, for automotive lithium-ion batteries. The same factory has also become a production base for Panasonic's first automotive battery cells in China.[Press Release] Panasonic Opens New Automotive Lithium-ion Battery Factory in Dalian, China (April 27, 2017)
Panasonic Brazil acquired UNION RHAC TECNOLOGIA, which operates an air conditioning engineering service business based primarily on absorption-type refrigerating machines (chillers). Taking advantage of the company’s 25-year history in Brazil and their past performance that consists of over 100 large projects involving large-scale commercial facilities, buildings and construction, Panasonic aimed to accelerate its B2B solutions business for large-scale air conditioners.[Press Release] Panasonic Acquires UNION RHAC TECNOLOGIA, Brazilian Air Conditioning Engineering Company (Sep 13, 2017)
Panasonic Brazil marked the 50th anniversary of the foundation in this year that its production of dry cell batteries, which began in 1970, reached a total of 10 billion units, and a commemorative ceremony was held at the São José Factory.
Extrema factory which produces refrigerator and washing machine, completed the 1,000,000th product produced in 5th Anniversary of foundation.
The Refrigeration Compressor Business Unit (RCBU) shifted one of its business units (HQ) from Japan to Singapore. The move placed RCBU nearer-to-market, increased its efficiency in meeting customer needs in the ASEAN region, and enabled quicker management decision-making.