Pioneer reconsiders its plasma display business

Pioneer Corp. is reviewing its plasma display business, a company official said Tuesday, while Japanese media reports said the company plans to stop producing them.

Ema Suzuki, a spokeswoman for the company, said the Pioneer’s plasma display business is suffering from sluggish growth and that it is reviewing the business.

Her comments came as Japan 's business daily Nikkei reported Tuesday that Pioneer is finalizing plans to withdraw from producing plasma panels as early as this year and procure panels from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which has the world's largest market share. Kyodo news agency carried a similar report.

The spokeswoman said no decision had been reached as of Tuesday, adding that Pioneer President Tamihiko Sudo will unveil business plans at a news conference Friday.

Nikkei said the company had originally planned to ship 720,000 plasma panel televisions for the latest fiscal year but later revised the plan to 480,000 amid sluggish sales. Pioneer's plasma TV business is expected to post a 10 billion yen ($96 million) loss, the report said.

Pioneer Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation that specializes in digital entertainment products, based in Tokyo, Japan. The company was founded in 1938 in Tokyo as a radio and speaker repair shop. Today, Pioneer is well-known for technology advancements in the consumer electronics industry.

Pioneer played a role in the development of interactive cable TV, the Laser Disc player, the first automotive Compact Disc player, the first detachable face car stereo, Supertuner technology, DVD and DVD recording, plasma display, and Organic LED display. The company's works with optical disc and display technology and software products and is also a manufacturer.