This week Sony Corp. announced a series of measures to strengthen the overall profitability and operating efficiencies of our global electronics businesses.
As you’ll see in the press release, these include reconsidering certain investments, consolidating manufacturing operations, and reducing the number of electronics’ employees worldwide by about 8,000 from around 160,000 globally.
The news hit home here in the U.S. as our Pittsburgh Technology Center was subsequently announced to be one of the first of five or six manufacturing facilities to be discontinued, along with a recording media plant in Dax, France. Television assembly operations at the Southwestern Pennsylvania facility, which is actually in the town of East Huntington, will come to an end by March 2009, while repair services at the site will continue into the Fall and our East Coast television distribution center operation will be running up to the following March 2010.
Business is business, and I know that the market demand for BRAVIA flat-panel LCD televisions in the U.S. and beyond can be supported by our existing operations in Mexico, but the Pittsburgh plant has always had a soft spot in my heart and it will be sad to see it go.