The History of Panasonic
The company is the 4th biggest producer of Televisions and is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, as well as on the Nikkei 225, the TOPIX Indices and the Nagoya Stock Exchange.
During the years between the 1950s and the 1970s, Panasonic wasn’t able to trade in North America under this name, as the trademark was already used by the National Radio Company, which was in a similar field of manufacturing. Away from North America, the company sold VHS Video Recorders, HiFi Stereo Receivers, and multi-band radios. This was a period of rapid growth for Panasonic, resulting in the creation of manufacturing plants across the globe.
At its height in 2010, Panasonic employed close to 400,000 people across the world and whilst this figure has reduced to a more modest 250,000, it is still one of the biggest employers of people in the world today.
The operation of the company is conducted through 3 broad fields of business:
- Components and devices
This is then split up into 9 separate domain companies:
- AVC Networks
- Eco Solutions
- Industrial Devices
- Systems and Communications
- Automotive Systems
- Manufacturing Solutions
The company invests many millions of pounds each year on research and development, typically spending around 6% of their annual revenues on it. As a result, the Corporation owns hundreds of thousands of worldwide patents. Panasonic is currently exploring the field of Artificial Intelligence, something that may come to the fore in the coming years.
Current Computing Products
The company has been involved in various parts of computer manufacturing over the years and whilst they do currently still offer computers, they are largely specific, robust devices for use in industry rather than the consumer market.
In 1996, the company launched the ToughBook range of laptops, which are still going strong today. The models they produce are resistant to vibration, extreme temperature, spills, being dropped and general rough handling. This makes them ideal for construction, government, law enforcement, manufacturing and healthcare purposes - basically anywhere that being robust is an advantage.
Panasonic also now produces ToughPads, which are what their marketing refers to as a ‘Ruggedized’ tablets. Their mobile computer range is also designed to fail on a much less frequent basis than typical business laptops, which is a real advantage in many types of industry.
This company is just one of a raft of huge electronics giants from the Far East that have driven consumer devices to levels unthought of just a few years ago. Where they will be and what they will create over the next 20 years is anyone’s guess, but it’s going to interesting finding out.