Hitachi is to close its one remaining Japanese factory producing TV sets. The facility, in Gifu prefecture, will instead turn out electronic components. The factory concentrated on making TVs for the Japanese market.
A statement from Hitachi said simply: “We can’t expect the domestic TV market to grow much, and price competition is getting more and more intense.” Hitachi-branded units might still come from Chinese production facilities.
However, Hitachi’s exit follows on from Pioneer which quit the TV market some 4 years ago, and dire warnings from the likes of Sony and Panasonic who saw production decimated by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami last year, but also by further pressure on profit margins for all the major manufacturers.
Currently LCD set sales are dominated by Samsung which has a worldwide share of some 18 percent, followed by LG (10.6 per cent), Sony (8.3 per cent), Toshiba (7.5 per cent), Sharp (7.1 per cent) and Panasonic (4.7 per cent). Hitachi’s global share of the LCD market was only about 1 per cent.
Moody’s Investors Service last Friday lowered its ratings on both Sony and Panasonic, citing uncertainty over their unprofitable TV divisions.