A frankly miserable second quarter has caused Panasonic to significantly scale back its flat-panel production, and instead begin sourcing components from other suppliers. Earlier rumors said that Panasonic would relocate its plasma screen facilities to Shanghai, but with a projected $5.4 billion in losses this year the company will cut production for all flat-panels by almost a half, closing both a plasma and an LCD factory in Japan. Panasonic has been regarded as one of the best manufacturers around ever since Pioneer stopped making plasma screens but this new turn leaves the company with just one manufacturing plant for the devices. Before, Panasonic used in-house panels for nearly 70 percent of its TVs, but the company's projecting fewer than one-third will use Panasonic panels in 2013.
Panasonic isn't the only ones struggling in the flat-panel world: Sharp has had a problematic year, and Sony's been suffering significant losses in the television market and has production problems in the wake of the Japanese earthquake. With 3D televisions failing to take off in the way that HD did, it doesn't look like any of these companies have an easy way out.