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EXCLUSIVE: Panasonic Axes State Managers After TV Exit

Panasonic Australia has moved to retrench State Managers after earlier this month announcing the Japanese Companies exit from the TV and home entertainment market.

Some state Managers have worked for Panasonic Australia for more than 20 years.

Confirming the move Managing Director Paul Read said “Panasonic Australia regularly reviews our organisation and makes changes to adapt to an evolving market while always maintaining a strong customer facing team”.

ChannelNews has been told that the Japanese Company has come under pressure on several fronts including in the air conditioning market.

Read responded to this claiming that their air conditioning business in Australia has been impacted in the last 12 months by the construction downturn but despite this the Company plans to increase their investment “in this important category”.

“Recent changes to our product portfolio have resulted in some changes to our team in Australia we will continue to expand in growth business areas” he said.

Late last year the Company made the decision to launch Technics a Japanese audio brand owned by Panasonic in Australia.

Currently being sold via the specialist channel Panasonic decided to direct sell the brand as opposed to giving the brand to a distributor at this stage it’s not known whether the Company will continue with this model following the axing of several staff.

In their latest financials Panasonic Australia reported revenues of $381 Million ending March 2019, in the prior period the Company had revenues of $385 Million.

Profits after tax fell from $13.08M to $3.37M as of the same financial period.

In the TV market Panasonic who was selling premium OLED TV’s struggled despite being seen as having a premium product due to the engine that the Japanese Company used in their TV’s.

In the Ultra High Definition market, the Company was just one brand competing in a market that was being driven by heavy discounting and the launch of sub $2K TV’s by Samsung.

Recently the Japanese electronics maker reported an operating profit of US$924 million in the third quarter, up 2.9% from a year ago.

Panasonic also posted US$2.2 billion in total operating profits from the nine months leading up to December.

The company also kept its estimate for the whole year at $2.8 billion, about 1.6% higher than analyst estimate.

The electronics maker drove the profit mainly on the back of its cost-cutting measures and a blooming partnership with Tesla Inc., where it makes batteries for the automaker at its Nevada manufacturing plant.

ChannelNews understands that Panasonic Australia is looking at new ways to market their batteries in Australia with many observers claiming they are among the “Best in the world”.

Recently Panasonic announced a partnership with another automaker Toyota Motor Corporation.

The two companies will jointly develop prismatic batteries for electric vehicles. Toyota will own 51% of the joint venture, with Panasonic owning the other 49%. The venture will start operating in April, and the batteries would be available to all automakers and not just Toyota.

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