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Matsushita shifts motor production to China and forms JV

01 September, 2003

Matsushita is closing two motors factories in Japan, with the loss of 1,100 jobs, and moving production to China. It is also forming a joint venture with Minebea to develop and manufacture motors for the information technology market.

Matsushita, best known for its Panasonic brand, hopes that the restructuring of its motors business will help to improve its performance. It argues that many of its customers are now based in China and that it needs to be close to them. It is targeting sales in China worth •100bn (£540m) in the "mid term".

It plans to focus on the high-growth brushless motors business for applications including industrial equipment and domestic appliances.

Matsushita`s new 40:60 joint venture with Minebea will develop, produce and sell four types of motor for the IT market. It hopes the JV will become the world`s largest supplier of vibration motors, the second largest supplier of stepper motors and axial fan motors; and the third largest supplier of DC brushed motors.

The unnamed JV will take effect from next April and is forecast to achieve sales worth •95bn (£510m) in the year ending March 2005. The global market for IT motors is growing by more than 10% a year.




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