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Panasonic to slash jobs, close many plants

Panasonic to slash jobs, close many plants
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Panasonic is planning to cut another 17,000 jobs and close up to 70 of its 350 factories worldwide in the next two years.

In a bid to reduce costs and keep up with Asian rivals the Japanese consumer electronics giant has already laid off around 35,000 people over the past three years.

Panasonic would not say which countries might see job cuts.

Company President Fumio Ohtsubo said Panasonic would look to merge operations where it could. “I can’t say for sure, but I think it’s possible we will cut the number of manufacturing bases by 10 or 20 percent,” he said.

Japan’s consumer electronic firms are facing increasing competition from cheaper Korean and Chinese producers in particular.

Panasonic is seeking to shift its focus to environmental and energy-related businesses such as rechargeable batteries in order to fend off competition from Samsung, LG and others in consumer technology.

Having started off making electrical sockets in 1917, it now comprises almost 700 companies spread around the globe and employs more than 220,000 people outside of Japan.

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