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Matsushita Changes Name To Panasonic In U.S.

Secaucus, N.J. ¯ Matsushita Electric Corp. of America, the North American operations of Japan’s Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, will formally change its name to its best-known brand name, Panasonic, on Jan.1.

The company’s new official name will be Panasonic Corporation of North America.

In a prepared statement, Yoshi Yamada, company chairman, said, “Panasonic is the name that customers and channel partners have known us by for years. We want to take advantage of the tremendous brand equity and good will that research tells us is built into the Panasonic name, so it makes great sense to call our company Panasonic. In addition, we are also in the midst of a huge transformation of our company’s systems and organization. By putting the Panasonic name on the revitalized company, we want to underline the dynamic change going on within the organization.”

Nearly 50 Matsushita entities in the United States and Mexico, ranging from Matsushita Electric Corporation of America headquarters in New Jersey to factories and research and development units, will take on the Panasonic name between January 1, 2005, through December 2005.

For example, in Columbus, Ga., Matsushita-Ultra Tech. Battery Corporation, a battery-making joint venture with Kodak, will change its name to Panasonic Primary Battery Corporation of America. And the company’s plasma TV R&D base in Highland, N.Y., Plasmaco Inc., will become Panasonic Plasma Display Laboratory of America.

Similar changes in corporate naming will take place in Matsushita Electric subsidiary companies in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania, and South America over the same period. The Matsushita corporate name, which comes from company founder Konosuke Matsushita, will be retained by the parent company and its subsidiaries in Japan where it is widely known and respected and its association with the Panasonic brand is well understood.