Panasonic to open home appliance factory in China for 1st time in 16 years
TOKYO, NNA – Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp. will build a mega plant for home appliances in China in a move to capture rising local demand.
The company said Friday the new home electronics plant, which will produce microwaves and rice cookers among other items, will be its first such facility in 16 years in China, Kyodo News reported.
Panasonic plans to invest about 4.5 billion yen ($41 million) in the 50,000 square-meter plant in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang for scheduled opening in the business year to March 2022, according to the report.
Despite the lingering U.S.-China trade dispute and subsequent moves for industries to relocate production bases mainly to other Asian countries, Panasonic is betting on local production, foreseeing the domestic home appliance market to expand further, driven by the growing number of middle-class households.
The firm will gear up to hire Chinese engineers to develop locally suited products, including home cooking devices equipped with cutting-edge technologies, like the internet of things. It also intends to export products from the mega plant to other markets in Asia, the report said.
Panasonic posted some 13 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) in home appliance sales in China in the year to March 2019, but its market share stood at a mere several percent. The company hopes revenue from the factory will reach 2 billion yuan in the business year ending March 2023, Kyodo News reported, citing a Panasonic spokesperson.