Japanese electronics giant Panasonic will halt production of LCD panels
in the Czech town of Zatec in December, laying off up to 615 people as
the company focuses on smaller products, the CTK Czech news agency said
Wednesday, quoting a company spokeswoman.
Panasonic, which has
produced liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in Zatec, northwestern
Czech Republic, since 2007, "is winding down its activity in the
Triangle industrial park," CTK quoted spokeswoman Helena Sukova as
She said the operation would be halted for "strategic
reasons" and that similar production from a plant in Malaysia would wind
down as well because Panasonic wants to focus on small-format panels
The plant in Zatec, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from
Prague, has supplied panels to another Czech-based Panasonic plant that
makes TV sets, and which will maintain its production with other
suppliers, Sukova said.
The decision comes on the heels of an
announcement that Panasonic expects to book a $9.6 billion loss this
fiscal year as the company undergoes a major overhaul of its troubled
Apart from the global headwinds, Panasonic's
television business has suffered from falling prices owing to stiff
competition from overseas rivals.
The company has announced a
major restructuring of its LCD manufacturing division, and is reportedly
considering shifting all of its mobile phone handset production
overseas because of high costs at home.
Reports have said that Panasonic would abandon its European smartphone business over the next several months.
Last month Moody's cut its credit rating on Panasonic, citing the struggling firm's weak profitability and high debt.