NYT: Panasonic's Reinvention
"Like other troubled Japanese electronics giants, Panasonic is trying to get its own house in order. Consumer electronics like those that were once made at Fujisawa provided the foundation for Japan’s postwar economic miracle. But in recent years, South Korea and Silicon Valley have moved to the fore in technological innovation and marketing, while China has taken the lead in manufacturing.
So Panasonic is trying to reinvent itself as a provider of less visible but more profitable industrial technologies. It is focusing on two areas: homes and automobiles, where it supplies battery cells to makers of electric cars, like Tesla Motors.
Panasonic is not the first Japanese electronics giant to back away from the consumer business, but the transformation — if it succeeds — would be particularly striking."
"The company is not giving up entirely on consumer electronics. It plans to continue making LCD televisions, which generally cost less than plasma models with screens of comparable sizes. Although Panasonic is culling its range of low-end digital cameras, which have been hurt by the spread of smartphones, it plans to continue making more expensive models, along with a variety of home appliances."
"Aiming to Reinvent Itself, Panasonic Moves Beyond the Living Room"