Tokyo — Fujitsu General Ltd., whose company Fujitsu General America has distributed plasma displays in the U.S. from the technology’s outset, said here Thursday it will exit the visual display business outside of Japan by March, due to declining profitability.
“During the past several years, the pricing and profitability of this segment has compressed beyond the point which our company could realize a satisfactory return on investment,” Fujitsu said in a statement.
The company said it will continue to offer support for products still under warranty, and will sell visual display products through its systems integration business in Japan. However, Fujitsu will focus most of its resources on other core categories including heating and ventilation going forward..
Tedd Rozylowicz, Fujitsu General America president, said his company is prepared to continue offering service and support for the displays it sold for “the next seven or eight years, at least,” adding, “the longevity of some those products is pretty remarkable”
He said that while the decision ends the company’s involvement in consumer electronics sales and marketing, it won’t affect operations or staff, which will be needed to continue to handle its heating and air conditioning businesses.
Fujitsu Ltd. previously gave up production of plasma televisions, but continued to sell plasma displays, primarily through high-end specialty A/V stores and custom installers in the U.S. and the U.K.
Fujitsu Ltd. was among the first companies to make and sell plasma televisions after years of research and development.
Declining profitability, however, forced Fujitsu to sell controlling interest in the plasma-television manufacturing operations in 2005 to Hitachi Ltd, a joint venture partner.