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Pioneer to stop producing plasma panels

Strategic shift expected to be announced on Friday

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Recent claims that Pioneer is planning to get out of sub-46in plasma panel production in favour of sourcing them through a third-party may have only been the start of things. It’s now being said that the company is finalising plans to outsource the whole lot.

Last week, Japanese newspaper Asahi reported that Pioneer is looking to buy 46in and smaller plasma display panels from Matsushita Electric Industries, owner of the Panasonic brand, or from Hitachi.

A spokeswoman for Pioneer later confirmed that the company is reviewing its plasma display business because of sluggish sales performance.

Japanese publication Nikkei, citing company sources, today claimed that Pioneer is finalising plans to buy in all sizes of plasma panels and shut down one of its three plasma production sites in Japan this year.

Pioneer hasn't confirmed either claim yet.

All is likely to be revealed this Friday when, according to Pioneer's spokeswoman, the company’s president will announce a new business plan. The move is unlikely to see Pioneer exit from the market altogether given how long the company has been flying the flag for plasma TV technology.

Then again, rival plasma maker Fujitsu last year decided to end plasma production because of poor profitability. Pioneer already outsources LCD planel production, to Sharp.

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