Pioneer has confirmed that it will stop the in-house production of plasma panels, as part of a major restructuring of its business. While the company says it will remain in the TV market, stating that ‘displays are indispensable to its product lineup,’ it has confirmed that the 2008 Kuro range will be the last models produced in its own factories.
The company is in discussions with a plasma panel supply partner, expected to be announced as Panasonic, for products due in 2009 and beyond.
In a statement, Pioneer says: “We have judged that maintaining the cost competitiveness of plasma display panels at projected sales volumes will be difficult going forward. Accordingly, we have decided to terminate in-house plasma display panel production and to procure these panels externally, after panel production for our next series of models is complete.” So is this the end of Pioneer’s Kuro dreams? Maybe not. The company adds that it is ‘in discussions on the feasibility of procuring panel modules that may incorporate the Company’s proprietary technologies. Details will be announced as soon as they are finalized.’
The company has also confirmed that it will introduce its first LCD TV screens into Europe this autumn. “Plans call for engineers from Pioneer and Sharp to team up to develop LCD TVs that carry on the legacy of the Pioneer Kuro series in terms of high picture and sound quality. This project will give Pioneer access to Sharp’s extensive expertise in LCD TVs, while promoting joint development of digital tuners, platforms and technologies for realizing high picture quality.”
Going forward, Pioneer says it will invest more heavily in car electronics and Blu-ray devices.