Panasonic Group plans to close its household factory in Thailand this Autumn in order to merge in a larger scale subsidiary in Vietnam.
The factory located in Thailand will stop manufacturing washing machine and fridge respectively in September and October this year. It will entirely close by March 2021, along with its product research and development centre nearby. Panasonic will offer their 800 workers in Thailand other job roles within the group.
Panasonic plans to move into Vietnam to cut costs and increase productivity by unifying manufacture. Panasonic’s factory in Vietnam-located on the outskirts of Hanoi- is its largest manufacturer of washing machine and fridge in Southeast Asia. And it has excess capacity.
Panasonic has 8000 employees in Vietnam currently. Beside household products, Panasonic also manufactures television, wireless telephone, payment machine and industrial equipment.
Panasonic Vietnam had its first operation in Ho Chi Minh city in 1996. Today, the Japan Group has five manufacturers and one product research and development centre in Vietnam.
According to Nikkei, Panasonic’s move is the sign of a new stage of production in Southeast Asia. From 1970, several Japan electronic brands transferred their domestic production lines to Singapore and Malaysia since the upsurge of Japanese Yen which resulted to reduce the competitive prices of their products.
After that, they transferred the operation to Thailand due to Singapore labour wage increased significantly. So, from 1979, Panasonic started to produce electric household equipments in Thailand.
Today, entrepreneurs are seeking for places with lower cost operation. They also hope to tap potential demands for fridges, washing machines, microwaves in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.
Panasonic is attempting to restructure itself, aiming to cut 1000 billion Yen (930 million USD) costs in fiscal 2021. The group is considering to modify many other activities in equipment production.
Translated by jina