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The Art & Science of Audio & Video

Pioneer Display Business Does the Hokey Pokey.

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As a follow up to our previous article “Sharp, Sony & Pioneer Join Forces…” Pioneer has announced additional plans for future production. Pioneer Corp.’s Board of Directors has approved radical changes in their display business through a massive restructuring. After completion of the 2008 model production is complete all plasma display panel production will cease at the Pioneer Plasma Display Corp. and Pioneer Display Products Corp. After termination of in-house production Pioneer will rely on Matsushita Electric industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic) for procurement of plasma display panels beginning in summer of 2009. As a result Pioneer’s plasma display technologies will be integrated into the Panasonic product.

In the midst of this carefully choreographed ballet Pioneer has announced the introduction of a new line of KURO plasma displays! To simply quote Pioneer’s promo script the displays boast black levels that are five times deeper than the previous KURO line and are available in both 50” and 60” models. Also included in the new line are various audio options including an auto volume stabilization feature. Most notably is the “Optimum Mode” which simultaneously monitors video and room light conditions and makes adjustments accordingly. At 3.7” inches thick, making it 20% thinner than the previous line.

All of these changes have a far-reaching impact on the fate of the existing Pioneer production facilities. The Pioneer Plasma Display Corp. Shizuoka Plant will live on as an assembly center for display products and also become a product distribution and inspection facility serving the Japanese market. The Display Products Corp. Yamanashi Plant and Plasma Display Corp. Kagoshima Plant are both scheduled to be closed. As mentioned in my earlier article Pioneer’s new LCD TVs will be supplied by Sharp Corp. as early in August 2008 in Europe. As they move forward Pioneer and Sharp will be combining technologies for future LCD TVs for an increasing number of regions. So you may wonder what is the driving force that would lead Pioneer, one of the foremost plasma display manufacturers, to turn its’ display business on its’ head. Well as a result of this plasma hokey pokey Pioneer expects to reduce its display business operating expenses by a meager $143 million in FY2010, ending March 31, 2010 as compared to FY2008.

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July 27, 2008 - Posted by | A/V News | , , , , ,

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