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Daily News

Matsushita, Toshiba Joint Venture to Shut U.S., German Plants
Nov 30, 2005
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Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. said on their joint venture to make cathode ray tubes (CRTs) for conventional TVs would close two of its overseas plants.

Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display Co (MTPD) plans to close a factory in Esslingen, Germany and another in the U.S. state of Ohio by March 2006, concentrating its CRT production in China and Southeast Asia to fight fierce price competition.

Japanese electronics makers are shifting resources to flat panel TVs as people trade in CRT models for large screen TVs such as liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs and plasma display sets.

Matsushita, the maker of Panasonic brand products, is the world's largest plasma TV maker with a 29 percent market share in July to September, according to research firm DisplaySearch.

MTPD's Esslingen operation has 605 employees, and its Ohio unit has 727 workers.

A spokesman at Matsushita said he could not comment on their future employment before planned negotiations between management and workers.

Matsushita owns 64.5 percent of MTPD and the remainder is owned by Toshiba, Japan's second-largest electronics conglomerate behind Hitachi Ltd.

Matsushita and Toshiba did not comment on the restructuring costs of the closure. But both companies said they had no plan to revise their earnings forecasts for the current business year ending March 31. (Reuters)

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