The two biggest names in consumer electronics, Panasonic and Sony, are feeling the squeeze of the global recession.

Panasonic has announced it will cut 135 billion yen from its 580-billion-yen investment in two new plasma and LCD plants because of faltering screen sales worldwide.

The company has two panel factories under construction in Amagasaki prefecture, Japan, one for plasma and the other LCD. The 20 per cent reduction in budget is expected to slow the flow of screens from the each; the factories will open for business in May ’09 and January ’10 respectively.

The company has also announced plans to increase the cost of its kit in Australia by as much as 22 per cent on some products. The rises are blamed on the a collapse in value of the Australian dollar against the yen. On average, Panasonic TV prices will rise by 9 per cent in Oz. Similar price rises for Europe look likely.

Meanwhile Sony has issued a firm ‘No comment’ statement after stories began to circulate in the Japanese financial press that it will post a 100 billion yen operating loss for the fiscal year ending March.
The dramatic losses, its worst since 1995, are thought to stem from the corporations electronics division. Sony is suffering from the strong yen, which impacts on the profits of products sold outside of Japan. 80 per cent of Sony sales come from its non-Japanese operations.

Sony has already announced a four per cent reduction in its global workforce.

Panasonic and Sony battered by global recession, price rises of 22 per cent announced | Home Cinema Choice