Hitachi Ltd. said Wednesday it will carry out restructuring steps at its home electric appliance unit, including job cuts and a reorganization of the unit's group companies.
The unit, Hitachi Home & Life Solutions Inc., plans to trim its parent-based employees by about 400, or 10 percent, via early voluntary retirement programs to be offered from September to the end of this year.
Hitachi also plans similar restructuring schemes at the unit's group companies, but details are undecided, a Hitachi spokeswoman said. Hitachi Home & Life's group-based work force is currently around 16,400.
The move reflects the prolonged severe situation in the domestic home appliance market, where product prices have been continuously falling amid deflationary pressure and sluggish consumption, Hitachi said. In addition, the company said it doesn't expect strong growth in domestic demand for such products as air-conditioners and refrigerators.
Hitachi Home & Life will merge two units engaged in the production of home gadgets next April, while it has decided to liquidate one unit making motors used for well pumps.
In April 2002, Hitachi spun off its home appliance operations and created the new unit Hitachi Home & Life to better cope with the tough business climate, but the unit fell into the red in its first business year. (Dow Jones)
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