New Plant for Panasonic in China
Panasonic will build its first consumer electronics plant in China in over 16 years, bucking the trend of manufacturers leaving China to avoid the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.
The $41 million plant will make kitchen appliances such as microwave ovens and rice cookers, and is scheduled to begin production in 2021. Panasonic decided to build the new factory in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, anticipating medium- to long-term growth in China.
It plans to sell products manufactured at the plant in both the domestic market and elsewhere in Asia. The company forecasts annual sales of $280 million once the plant begins full-scale production.
The new consumer electronics plant will be Panasonic’s first in the country since 2005, when it built a factory in the same Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province. It will set up a new company to operate the new plant, developing products that incorporate Internet of Things technology. Among such internet-enabled products will be cooking appliances that can maintain temperature using sensors and saute ingredients optimally.
Panasonic sells around $1.84 billion worth of home appliances in China annually. It makes kitchen appliances at plants in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Amoy, selling them at large retailers and online. But competition is intensifying from companies such as Xiaomi, a big Chinese smartphone maker, which is strengthening its lineup of attractively designed, affordably priced home appliances.