Tokyo - Hitachi said it
will halt domestic flat-panel TV production and will outsource manufacturing for
the Japanese market later this year.
In recent years, the company had discontinued TV production for
sales outside of Japan, relying instead on outsourced products. It had
maintained a single flat-panel TV plant for sets sold in its own country, where
the brand continues to enjoy a loyal customer base.
The increased price competition, and a troubled global economy,
forced the latest move, the company said.
Production at Hitachi's plant in Gifu prefecture will cease
producing flat-panel TVs by October and will shift to building projectors, components
and performing TV repairs, the company said.
The company's long-term strategy is to move beyond consumer
electronics into "social infrastructure" operations, including electric power,
railway systems and information technology.
In recent years, Hitachi's TV sales and marketing operations in
the U.S. have been focused primarily on selling container load volumes of LCD
TVs with key accounts.