Pioneer Quits Plasma TV Market

16 February 2009

TOKYO: Pioneer, the Japanese electronics manufacturer, is to slash 10,000 jobs and withdraw from the plasma television market after forecasting that it will make a loss of ¥130bn ($1.4bn; €1.1bn; £972m) for the 12 months to March 2009.

According to the company's figures, its total sales fell by 38% year-on-year in the last quarter of 2008, and in an attempt to offset this trend, it has decided to stop making its Kuro plasma TV brand.

Despite being one of the first companies to manufacture plasma TVs, Pioneer's share of the market has fallen to 5.8% according to Gartner, which reports that Matsushita (28%), LG (18%) and Samsung (14.1%) are the market leaders.

Moreover, the plasma TV sector is now much smaller than the LCD TV market, which has seen several high-profile launches in recent years, including the much-lauded campaign for the Sony Bravia.

The job cuts will amount to a reduction of around 27% in Pioneer's workforce, and the company is now planning to focus on its automotive electronics and audio operations.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff