According to Reuters, Pioneer Electronics is leaving the TV manufacturing business—a business in which Pioneer’s iconic, high-performance Kuro-series plasma sets have served as an integral part of the firm’s corporate identity. The company is shedding 10,000 jobs in the process. An Associated Press report adds that the company plans to end in-house development of TVs immediately, shut down its U.S. and U.K. display assembly plants by April and February respectively, and withdraw completely from the display business by March 2010.
Pioneer president Susumu Kotani told reporters that “It hurts that we have to give up on a business that we were leaders in. But market conditions changed too suddenly and we couldn’t stay profitable.”
According to the AP, Pioneer expects its net loss in the current fiscal year ending in March to be roughly $1.4 billion. The company will be forced to eliminate 6,000 full-time employees, both here and abroad, and 4,000 contract workers at Japanese and foreign plants.
Pioneer was in the vanguard of plasma technology and according to Reuters, introduced the world’s first plasma TVs in 1997. The company’s Kuro-series displays were (and continue to be) regarded by many videophiles as not only the best plasma TVs on the market, but arguably the best-performing flat panel HDTVs ever offered, regardless of technology type. According to a past Pioneer press release, Kuro became a brand mantra within the company, representing the firm’s “commitment to deliver the most passionate and emotional entertainment experience possible.”
According to engadgethd.com, Pioneer will focus on car electronics and home audio/video products as it moves forward.
For more information, visit www.pioneerelectronics.com.