Panasonic Corporation

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Panasonic Corporation

legal form Kabushiki-gaisha (joint stock company)
ISIN JP3866800000
founding 1918
Seat Kadoma , JapanJapanJapan 
management Kazuhiro Tsuga (President)
Number of employees 273,858 (2019)
sales 8.0 trillion Yen (2019) (63.9 billion euros )
Branch Electronics , household appliances

Panasonic Corporation in Kadoma
Matsushita building in Osaka , Panasonic headquarters
One of the first Matsushita products - a double incandescent lamp holder , exhibited in the Matsushita Konosuke Museum

The Panasonic Corporation ( Japanese パ ナ ソ ニ ッ ク 株式会社 , Panasonikku Kabushiki-gaisha , short: Panasonic KK) is a listed ( Nikkei 225 ) Japanese electronics group based in Kadoma , Osaka Prefecture , Japan . Its products are sold under several brand names such as Panasonic and Technics . Until September 30, 2008 he traded under the name Matsushita Denki Sangyō KK ( 松下 電器 産業 株式会社 , English Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. ).



The company was on March 7, 1918 by Konosuke Matsushita together with his siblings Mumeno (later Kōnosukes wife) and Toshio Iue (later founder of Sanyo ) and Matsushita Denki Kigu Seisakujo ( 松下電気器具製作所 , dt. Electrical appliances factory Matsushita ; [ maˌtsɯ̥ɕi̥ta ]) founded.

The first products were adapters and double sockets for incandescent lamps . The first own factory building for 50 employees was built in 1922, the product range was expanded to include electric bicycle lamps (1923), irons (1927), tube radio receivers (1931) and electric motors (1933). The distribution took place under the word and picture trademark of an M, combined with the symbol of a projectile arrow. The company founder first used the National brand ( ナ シ ョ ナ ル , Nashonaru ) in 1927 for a bicycle light bulb produced by others, which he sold as a merchandise .

Despite initial economic difficulties, the company grew to 3,500 employees by 1935, who were organized in what is known as the employee representative body known in German as “lock step”. The name should indicate the positive cooperation between management and employees. The range has meanwhile been expanded to 400 items. In the 1930s, nine subsidiaries and five holding companies emerged from the sole proprietorship . In December 1935 the conglomerate was named Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (MEI), the export business (with a focus on Southeast Asia) was outsourced to Matsushita Electric Trading Co. Hair dryers were produced in 1937 .

As a milestone, the first successful tests of television broadcasts were carried out in 1939 .


From the beginning of 1938, and thus already during the Sino-Japanese War , the company supplied military products to the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Army Air Force . Parallel to the Japanese expansion in East and Southeast Asia, the conglomerate also expanded its activities, especially in occupied Korea , China and Manchuria as well as the Philippines and Indonesia , which were conquered in World War II . By the end of both wars in the summer of 1945, the number of employees rose to over 26,000 in 67 subsidiaries.

post war period

The group was classified as Zaibatsu by the Supreme Commander , the representative of the US occupation forces , and, like the German armaments companies, dissolved, disbanded and broken down into smaller, decentralized economic units. The founder Kōnosuke Matsushita had to leave his split company. From 17 domestic entities, independent entities, the 39 entities outside of Japan were confiscated and given to the states in which Matsushita founded them. The number of employees shrank in 1947 from the 26,000 mentioned to 7,926.

Panasonic steam iron
Panasonic VHS video recorder
Panasonic S-VHS video recorder
Technics record player SL-10
with direct drive (1980–1984)
Technics CD player SL-P2 and
preamplifier SU-A8 (around 1985)
Panasonic racing bike from the 1990s

After employees and unionists filed a petition with the Supreme Commander, Kanosuke Matsushita was able to return to the company in May 1947. In the early 1950s, Matsushita brought out a number of new household products, including washing machines with a turnstile from 1951 and black-and-white television sets from 1952 through a cooperation with Philips .

In 1952, the group of companies went into bicycle production, for which the subsidiaries National Jitensha Kōgyō (now Panasonic Cycle Tech ) and National Tire (now Panaracer ) were founded. The reason given for the somewhat unusual product expansion is that company founder Konosuke Matsushita had already done an apprenticeship with an employer who owned a bicycle shop at the age of ten and had to live with his family because his own family was completely impoverished. In 1953 the production of household refrigerators began , in 1954 the production of steam irons , in 1955 of electric shavers and in 1958 of cylinder vacuum cleaners and window air conditioners. From 1960 washing machines with two laundry rooms and the first Panasonic color televisions and “pistol” hair dryers were offered. The Asuka stereo system followed in 1964 . In 1965 the Technics brand was founded. The first microwave oven was presented in 1966 .

From 1970

In the 1970s and 1980s, the company developed numerous innovations, for example a refrigerator with a separate freezer door in 1970, the direct drive for turntables in 1970, the fully programmable washing machine in 1971, room heating and air conditioning systems in 1972 , razors with rotating, net-shaped stainless steel cutting blades in 1974 and 1977 the hairdryer with 1000 watt power. 1977 also the video standard VHS , developed by the Matsushita subsidiary JVC , which finally prevailed in the home user sector worldwide despite other competitive formats. Matsushita was part of the consortium of companies that developed the CD standard . In 1982 the company presented its first video camera with a portable recorder. In 1983 an iron with a powerful burst of steam system, in 1984 a refrigerator with a −3 ° C special compartment and in 1988 a cordless steam iron and a combination microwave oven with inverter technology and a camcorder with optical image stabilization were produced.

The innovations since 1990 in which Matsushita / Panasonic has been actively involved include: the DVD standard, the DV and DVC-Pro video systems, and plasma screens in HD quality. The first HD televisions were produced in 1991, air conditioning with motion sensors in 1993, razors with linear motors in 1995 and refrigerators with inverter technology in 1996.

From 2000

From 2000 the top-loading washer-dryer, from 2001 digital cameras from the Lumix brand , an ion hair dryer, from 2002 a steam / combination microwave device, from 2003 washer-dryer with inclined drum.

Panasonic has been part of the Blu-ray Group since February 2002, and flat-screen HD plasma televisions have been available since 2003 .

Electric shavers followed in 2004 with an automatic cleaning and charging station. In 2005 the company offered refrigerators with an overhead compressor and fully extendable drawers. In 2006, hair dryers with nanoe technology (nano-atomized water droplets) were presented.

Together with Olympus , Panasonic announced the new Micro Four Thirds standard and the development of the first digital system cameras with interchangeable lenses in summer 2008 . In 2008 the Lumix G1 was the first digital system camera ready for the market.

On October 1, 2008, Matsushita Denki Sangyō was renamed Panasonic Corporation . Matsushita used his word creation PanaSonic for the first time in 1955 as a brand name for products to be exported. The renaming is mainly due to the fact that the company is better known abroad under the name Panasonic.

In 2008 air conditioning systems with nanoe technology (nano-atomized water droplets) and in 2009 an iron with a fast 2-way soleplate were offered, as well as intelligent air conditioning systems with ECONAVI sensor technology.

In 2012, Panasonic stopped producing video recorders. In 2015 the vacuum cleaner robot RULO and the premium hi-fi compact system OTTAVA were offered by Technics. The first 4K (UHD) OLED televisions from Panasonic followed in 2017 .

Cooperation with Tesla

In cooperation with the US electric car manufacturer Tesla , Panasonic is involved in the construction of Gigafactory 1 in the US state of Nevada, which, with 6500 employees on 1,000,000 square meters of floor space, supplies lithium - ion cells and battery packs for Model 3 and other applications should produce.


The largest shareholders are escrow accounts at Japan Trustee Services Bank (5.73%) and The Master Trust Bank of Japan (4.81%).

Group structure


In December 2009, Panasonic acquired the majority stake in Sanyo and in 2011 took over the entire company as a subsidiary .

The Victor Company of Japan ( JVC Ltd. ) was also a subsidiary in the field of entertainment electronics until 2011 . JVC has been part of JVC Kenwood Corporation since it left the Panasonic Group .

Divisional and Group Companies

After being renamed in 2008, the group was restructured into Divisional Organizations ( English : Divisions ) and Group companies ( English : Companies ).

Division Companies (4) Group Companies
Corporate Marketing Division for Digital AVC Products Semiconductor Company
Corporate Marketing Division for Home Appliances AVC Networks Company
Corporate Marketing Division for Wellness Products Automotive Systems Company
Design Company System Solutions Company
Group Companies Home Appliances Company
Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. Lighting Company
Panasonic Electronic Devices Co., Ltd. Energy Company
Panasonic Ecology Systems Co., Ltd. Motor Company
Panasonic Factory Solutions Co., Ltd. Panasonic Communications Co., Ltd.
Panasonic Welding Systems Co., Ltd. Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd.
Panasonic Shikoku Electronics Co., Ltd. Sanyo Co., Ltd. (since 2011)
PanaHome Corporation JVC Ltd. (until 2011)

In 2012/2013 the group was further restructured, 43 business units were assigned to the two above-mentioned elements.


Further products


Since 2012, several smartphones adapted to the respective national markets in Europe, India and Japan (e.g. Eluga and Eluga Power, Eluga A and U or in Japan X and V) have been presented under the brand name Eluga from Panasonic. One has a 4.3- inch -qHD- display , an 8-mega pixel camera and an 8 GB large memory . To this end, Panasonic Corporation applied to the German Patent and Trademark Office on February 7, 2012 (exclusively in Germany) for Eluga to be registered as a word mark . The official registration of the brand name has since provided protection in the Federal Republic of Germany until February 2022.

Digital cameras

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 (2012), similar to Leica D-Lux 6
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 , year of construction 2005

Panasonic sells digital compact, bridge and system cameras under the brand name Lumix . Panasonic, together with Olympus, is one of the first two developers of the first mirrorless digital camera system Micro Four Thirds and offered the first corresponding system camera housing, the Lumix DMC-G1 . Panasonic cooperates with Leica Camera AG in the development of cameras and lenses . See also: Category: Panasonic cameras


The company Matsushita Electric Industrial or Panasonic Corporation registered countless trademarks worldwide in its corporate history . This includes product names, logos and advertising slogans (e.g. Ideas for live ), each registered as word or figurative marks .

PanaSonic, Technics, Lumix, Eneloop and Sanyo

From 1955 Matsushita began to export products such as speakers and lamps under the newly introduced PanaSonic brand . Another brand followed in 1965: Technics . Matsushita sold various products for the audio and video sector under these brand names. Matsushita first registered the Panasonic brand in several European countries in 1963 and the Technics brand in 1973 , the latter for hi-fi components. Also included are the most widely used National for electrical household appliances (only in Japan and China) and, among others, the aforementioned camera brand Lumix (including lenses of the brand Leica ) and Eneloop ( nickel metal hydride - battery , originally recorded by Sanyo ).

Eluga, Quasar, NAis, Kotobuki, Ramsa

Matsushita / Panasonic's branding strategy includes many differing registrations in respective national markets; Products with the National label can hardly be found in Europe and, conversely, brands such as Eluga for cell phones are not found in the USA.

In addition to the core brand names mentioned, the company sells products under the names Quasar (TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens , only in the USA) and NAis (until April 1, 2004 for factory automation ). Kotobuki is a subsidiary for OEM products in the computer sector. Panasonic offers professional speaker systems under the Ramsa brand .


National microwave from 1971

National is a Matsushita / Panasonic brand name for home appliances and industrial applications and was the first brand name Konosuke Matsushita's electrical company used to sell its battery-powered bicycle lights, with the brand name expressing the hope that the products would be used by the entire Japanese nation would. It was possibly the first known Japanese electronics brand.

National used to be the premium brand of most Matsushita products, including audio and video technology, and was also used in the National Panasonic combination following the global success of the Panasonic brand .

After 1980, Matsushita no longer used the National brand in Europe and only sold audiovisual products under the Panasonic and Technics brands .

In North America, the name National was already used by a US manufacturer of high-quality radios. That is why the first radio and television sets were sold there under the name Matsushita. The success was moderate, only a new beginning with the trade name Panasonic brought the breakthrough. Matsushita only uses the name National for a few household appliances, such as rice cookers in US Asian markets .

National is known in Asia as a brand manufacturer of household appliances such as rice cookers and fans. In 2004, this brand was also replaced in Asia (mostly by Panasonic ) because there were repeated problems with other companies on the world market that used National on their behalf. Matsushita's desire to concentrate on the Panasonic brand with its greater awareness also played a role in the decision.

Because of its historical significance and popularity, the National brand continued to be used in Japan for non-audiovisual products, especially household appliances, until 2008.

National bikes were exported to the US as Panasonic . The brand was known for high quality bicycles at a relatively affordable price, which was a result of high levels of automation in manufacturing and the resulting low labor costs.

The National and Matsushita brands were to be abolished and all products were to be sold under the Panasonic brand name in the future.

environmental Protection

In 2001 , the subsidiary Sanyo established the Solar Ark in order to underpin the claim to environmental protection and sustainability . After a scandal, however, this was equipped with withdrawn, degraded modules instead of the latest generation of photovoltaic modules.

Greenpeace ranks Panasonic 11th out of 16 electrical manufacturers in terms of environmental protection (as of March 2013; 1st place is the most environmentally friendly). This involves dangerous substances in the production chain as well as disposal and recycling.

Panasonic in Europe

Branches in the DACH region

In the Panasonic Group, the German / Austria / Switzerland markets are referred to internally as the DACH region. On April 1, 2014 Christian Sokcevic started as the new Managing Director DACH.

Matsushita opened in 1962 in Germany the first European sales office in Hamburg whose business developed rapidly and since 1984, the name Panasonic Germany GmbH carries. The company employs around 350 people and has an annual turnover (2003) of over 700 million euros.

Made in Germany

The European headquarters of Panasonic Electric Works has 300 employees and is based in Ottobrunn (previously Holzkirchen ). As Panasonic Electric Works Europe AG , it looks after the market with components and systems for factory automation.

The Panasonic Electric Works Europe AG, German Factory is a manufacturing plant of high-quality electromechanical and electronic relays located than in Bavaria Pfaffenhofen . It produces for customers in the following industries: telecommunications , instrumentation , control and regulation technology , household goods , consumer electronics , mechanical engineering - and automotive industries.

Panasonic Industrial Devices Europe in Lüneburg ( Lower Saxony ) developed and manufactured television tuners that were installed by the best-known manufacturers of television sets worldwide. Production has now been relocated to Slovakia .

Today it is rarely about entertainment electronics, but about standard products and customer-specific solutions for the fields of industrial and automotive electronics.

The Panasonic R & D Center Germany GmbH in Hesse Langen (Hessen) conducts research and development in the areas of future mobile communication , video compression and digital audio and video broadcast for mobile devices ( DAB , DVB-H ). In Neumünster is with Panasonic Automotive & Industrial Systems Europe GmbH , a software development company, while its management division as the aforementioned R & D center, located in Langen.

The Panasonic Robot and Welding Systems Europe is the European sales and technical center for industrial robots and welding technology based in Neuss .

Central and Eastern Europe

In 2007, the company built an assembly plant for LCD screens in Pilsen, Czech Republic . Another location in Zatec in northern Bohemia with 200 employees was opened in 2007 and closed in 2012. In neighboring Slovakia, there was also a location in Krompachy with 656 employees at the end of the day, where Blu-Ray and DVD devices as well as circuit boards for TV devices were produced. This location was shut down in 2015. In return, the Pilsen location was further expanded and a production facility for air conditioning units ("air-to-water heat pumps") was built. Together with the location in Pardubice ( Automotive ), Panasonic employs around 1,600 people in the Czech Republic.

See also

Web links

Commons : Panasonic  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Fiscal 2019 Financial Results. Retrieved December 3, 2019 .
  2. ^ Panasonic Corporation (Ed.): National brand name introduced. ( Memento of October 6, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) 2009, accessed on Feb. 24, 2009 (English).
  3. ^ A b Panasonic Corporation (ed.): Brand History. ( Memento of November 8, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) 2009, accessed on Feb. 24, 2009 (overview of the history of the brands, English).
  4. ^ John P. Kotter: Matsushita's Leadership. Simon & Schuster, New York 1997, ISBN 0-684-83460-X , p. 137 ff.
  5. Caroline Fohlin: Mobilizing Money. Cambridge University Press. New York 2012, ISBN 978-0-521-81021-0 , pp. 94ff.
  6. John P. Kotter: ibid.
  7. 2020, Technics SL-10 (English), accessed on May 13, 2020.
  8. 2020, Technics SL-P2 (English), accessed on May 13, 2020.
  9. Biography of Konosuke Matsushita (1894–1989)., July 17, 2010.
  10. The man behind Panasonic | The Star Online. Retrieved March 22, 2020 .
  11. Mirrorless system cameras on the advance . In: FOTOwirtschaft . June 6, 2018 ( [accessed on August 23, 2018]).
  12. ^ A b Matsushita Electric Becomes Panasonic Corporation - Headquarters News - Panasonic Global. Retrieved December 2, 2014 .
  13. a b Matsushita is now called Panasonic. Archived from the original ; accessed on December 2, 2014 .
  14. July 22, 2016, Nobody builds more video recorders, accessed on May 13, 2020.
  15. US electric car manufacturer: Tesla and Panasonic build huge battery factory. In: Spiegel Online , July 31, 2014, accessed July 31, 2014.
  16. Annual Report 2015 ( Memento of March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Panasonic: Sanyo takeover is wrapped up | photoscala. In: 2013, accessed February 27, 2013 .
  18. Panasonic Corp. Corporate Profile. ( Memento of January 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Published June 12, 2014, accessed on December 1, 2014 ( English ).
  19. ^ Publication by the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), accessed on November 23 ( German ).
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  21. publications , accessed on 23 November ( Spanish ).
  22. Publication of the US PTO .
  23. Publication of the European OHIM .
  24. Publication of the Swiss IPI .
  25. Publication of the British IPO .
  26. ^ Publication of the German PMA .
  27. RAMSA Professional Audio System | Panasonic Official Olympic Website. Retrieved June 27, 2020 (English).
  28. ^ Greenpeace International: A Guide to Greener Electronics. ( Memento from January 13, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
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  31. Innovation from Lüneburg: Panasonic also develops electronics for other companies - and makes everyday life easier for us. In: AKTIVonline. November 30, 2015, accessed December 15, 2017 .
  32. Panasonic robotic and welding systems - industrial robots - robotics. Retrieved December 2, 2014 .
  33. Tough LCD business: Panasonic closes the factory in Žatec in the Czech Republic. November 6, 2012 (accessed November 22, 2018)
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  36. / CTK business news: Plzeňský Panasonic zahájil v Plzni výrobu tepelných čerpadel. October 10, 2018 (accessed November 22, 2018)