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Panasonic Says Thailand Still Important After Closing Several Plants

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Panasonic Says Thailand Still Important After Closing Several Plants | Samui Times
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With the news that Panasonic is shutting down its washing machine and refrigerator plants in Thailand, the company says the Kingdom will still be an important base for production.

The Japanese company has decided to make the move of some of its plants to Vietnam with Sirirat Yongcharoenchai, general manager for corporate communication at Panasonic Management (Thailand) saying they have already given plant employees in Chachoengsao a month’s notice of the closing.

The two factories are managed by Panasonic Appliances (Thailand) Co, located at Wellgrow Industrial Estate in Chachoengsao province, employing about 800 workers.

The washing machine plant is slated to close in late September, with the refrigerator plant scheduled to end in late October.

An R&D facility founded in 2005 at the same area will also folllow suit, ending operations in September as well.

The company has to lay off 800 staff at the plants and the R&D facility — 760 for the two factories and 40 for the R&D centre.

Five years ago, Panasonic moved the production base for rice cookers to Malaysia, citing economy of scale.

Panasonic Group still operates 18 companies and factories in Thailand.

Those current factories still employ almost 14,000 staff to make batteries, beauty equipment, lighting, electric fans, car audio and electronic parts for the automotive business.

Ms Sirirat said the consolidation plan mainly aims for operation cost efficiency, economy of scale in parts procurement and competitiveness enhancement.

Both washing machines and refrigerators will remain key products for Southeast Asia, she said.

Panasonic is in the midst of restructuring efforts, with the goal of cutting costs by about US$930 million by the fiscal year ending March 2022.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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