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1. Panasonic Corporation (PC) formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd was founded in 1918 by Konosuke Matsushita and is headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka, Japan. The company changed its name to Panasonic Corporation in October 2008. This is a Japanese multinational corporation where its main business is in electronics manufacturing and it produces over 15,000 different products under different names including Panasonic, Technics, Sanyo and Ramsa Professional Audio Systems. From the information given, Sanyo became a subsidiary of Panasonic on December 21, 2009. It has been 82 years since the company first established and it has successfully grown to become the largest Japanese electronics producer. Other than manufacturing electronic and electrical products, Panasonic offers non-electronic products and services such as home renovation services. According to the Forbes Global 2000, Panasonic was ranked the 89th largest company in the world in 2009 but it has dropped to 444th largest company in 2010. Besides that, Panasonic was also ranked the 65th world’s largest corporation by FORTUNE Global 500 and is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders. Today, the company operates in many countries around the world and employs nearly 384,586 people. Panasonic Corporation has been a proud supporter of the Olympic Games for more than 20 years as an Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Video and Audio Equipment category.
Panasonic is comprised of 14 business domain companies which have over 680 companies in the world. This company offers a variety of products and services such as manufacturing and selling electronic and electric products, systems and components for consumer, business, and industrial uses around the world. The company also offers video and audio equipment, information and communications equipment such as security system, electronic products, Internet-enabled equipment, flat-panel and plasma TV series, blue-ray disc and DVD recorders, digital video cameras, personal computers, and mobile phones. Besides that, the company also offers an automotive electronics, including car navigation systems, engine control units, and batteries. It also produces home appliances which consist of refrigerators, room air conditioners, washing machines and vacuum cleaners, coffee maker, dish washer, microwave oven, bread maker and steam iron. Furthermore, the company manufactures, sells, installs, and provides services related to various products that include electrical construction materials, home appliances as mentioned before, building products, electronic materials, and automation controls. In addition, it also provides semiconductor products such as electronic devices, batteries, and electric motors for usage in home appliances, industrial equipment, and office products.
In conclusion, it serves consumers, industrial and business corporations, governments and other institutions by producing electric and electronic equipment, automotive manufacturers as well as other machinery product.
2. Panasonic is one of the world’s largest consumer electronics manufacturers. Its products such as home appliances are well known in Malaysia too. Let’s discuss about the macro environment such as demographic, economic, natural, technological, political and cultural forces in with the company that operates according to the invested country. Demographic characteristic such as age, sex, marital status, personal income, occupation and education are basic factors that affect the market of the products in a particular country. As we know, products needs often vary with the consumer age. For example, most of the home appliances manufactured by PC is often used regardless of age groups, starting from the birth of a new baby which uses fans or air conditioner to a women who uses kitchen products such as refrigerator. Besides that, gender has always been the important factor in the market of the products. According to the research, it has been found that women were purchasing the Panasonic Shaver as gifts for men in Canada. This suggested that the market targets females with the age of 35 and above. Regarding the economics status of the country such as India, The Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association have said that the industry in this field has posted a 30 %growth in the first quarter ended March 31, 2010. While flat panel displays registered a growth of 70 %, air conditioner sales increased by 50 % and home appliances business grew by 40 %. “Due to the great marketing opportunities for home appliances in Indian, Panasonic India plans to invest around USD 30 million over the next three years to establish itself as a home appliances leader in the country”, as quoted by the Panasonic India Marketing Director Manish Sharma. According to the information given, Panasonic India is currently the market leader in plasma and LCD TVs, with a 48 % share of the 3.6 million-unit flat TV market. Besides that, the flat TV panel sales have grown 250% over the last year, thus reflect a very good consumer response in India. However, currently this Japanese firm is looking for methods towards increasing its market shares in home appliances such as refrigerators, air-conditioners and washing machines while maintaining its position as a leading TV player. Moreover, Panasonic India target to garner 15 % share in the washing machines market from the current 5 % over next two years. Panasonic is also re-working on its pricing strategy. It wants to roll out newer models, which will cut down the entry-level price of other products like home theatre and digital camera. The price is brought down by shedding unnecessary product features which may not be required in the smaller towns in India.
On top of that, Panasonic Corporation is not only a manufacturer for consumer products, it is also concern about the environment as well. As we can see, Panasonic strives to be a Green Innovation Company with a global perspective by promoting environmental activities defined by ‘eco ideas’ Declaration which was issued in October 2007 . There are a few activities that have been carried out by the company such as partnership with WWF(World Wildlife Fund) , ‘Lights-out’ Campaign, Tree-Planting Activities, Recycling Activities, ‘eco ideas’ House , ‘eco ideas’ Factory Modal Transportation Shift and Panasonic Eco Relay. Regarding the recycling activities, Panasonic, together with Sharp Electronics Corporation and Toshiba America Consumer Products established Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC (MRM) which is in charge of the recycling of electronics. Furthermore, this company has pledged to reduce its global carbon footprint by 300,000 tons by 2010. Panasonic has also pledged to vastly increase the number of energy-efficient products it makes. To increase the energy efficiency of the products, basically the company focuses on improving the power efficiency in use and standby modes by reviewing the product’s basic circuitry such as use of advanced designed circuitry known as 3-Terminal Intelligent Power Devices (IPDs). With this, the IPDs for the power supplies results in the reduction of about 81% compared with conventional models. The IPDs also represent a resource and space efficient chip configuration since everything in the modern world is concerned with miniaturization. In fiscal 2010, Panasonic Corporation has developed ECO NAVI (eco-navigation) functionality to increase the energy efficiency of their products. Equipped with this function, air conditioners will optimally control the airflow volume and room temperature by identifying the positions of people, furniture, and the volume of sunshine for the most energy-efficient operation. The same thing goes for washers or dryers where it conserves energy and water by discerning the amount of the clothes and how dirty they are. Other than that, the new model of US style side by side fridge-freezers is an example of energy-efficient refrigerator. The technology using for this kitten appliance is Panasonic’s Inverter technology. There are U-Vacua vacuum insulation panel and Twin-Eco Cooling System. Basically, they use a system of sensors and microprocessors to select automatically from multiple possible power levels, allowing the product to run on minimal power overnight and at times of low usage, thereby conserving valuable energy. With the advanced technology implemented, the company has produced more than 445 ENERGY STAR qualifying products which is more than any other manufacturers. From the information given, this company has received recognition for seven consecutive years (1999-2005) for ENERGY STAR award.
In a political view, the company may have to deal with the political interferences that may be practiced by different country. According to research done, political systems of nations affect the conduction of businesses, for example some countries may practice collectivism while others may practice capitalism political systems. For instance, the UK government practices capitalism in that it allows factors of production to be privately owned by the company and the government performs only limited duties that the private sector cannot be executed unlike in communism and collectivism that stresses on group goals rather than the individual goals. Fortunately, Panasonic UK which is a private property and have vast of capital has no restrictions if the company insists future invests into that country. Besides that, the way the company operates in terms of operating rules of law and regulation is an important factor that affects its marketing as well. For example, how Panasonic Company deal with the legal rules in the UK is important because it can prevent conflicts from happening and will enhance the success of the businesses as well. The company is engaged in legal business practice of marketing electrical products which consist of home appliances, televisions, hi-fi that is permitted by the UK Laws and also must agree with the law stated by invested country too. Lastly, when dealing with the cultural difference in different country, Panasonic provides different types of languages for the user manual in different countries. Taking Malaysia as an example, the user guide for the home appliances has two main languages that are Malay and English while in Spain, the main language on the user guide will be in Spanish.
3. If I were the “boss” of the Panasonic Corporation, I will continuously invest in identifying and using more sustainable materials and develop a new technology with the aim to produce energy efficient and environmental friendly products. Through this, consumers benefit through energy savings and lower electricity bills. Besides that, advertisement or campaign regarding ‘eco ideas’ must be done so that people have a clear idea on what is it about and perhaps this may raise the awareness in taking care of our environment and introduce our energy efficient products to them. Perhaps, reviewing the unnecessary features that are not required in certain small town or country and thereby reducing the cost of the product so that most of the demographic can afford it is also a good approach. Last but not least, I will further invest into big markets such as India and the Russian Federation. As we can see from the research done, India has a very good response in home electronic products, and hence, further investment may the increase the growth of the company. The reason for choosing Russian Federation as one of the investment country is because of its population and targeted consumer, where it has 141,927,297 populations and the ratio of male to female residents with the age between 15 to 64 years is 0.92%. This will be our targeted custormer. However, further research on its economic and political status need to be done if I were to invest in this country.
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