Pioneer Outsourcing – Not Quitting Plasma Business Altogether

March 12, 2008

I read headlines all the time, I also read how others read headlines all the time. This whole Pioneer to exit the plasma business and no more Kuro plasmas business has really been a fascinating window into human psychology. This all peaked (for me at least) yesterday when a client said “Pioneer’s going to stop making the Kuro” to which I replied, well they’re going to stop manufacturing the panels in-house, I don’t see them scrapping the Kuro line altogether though.What ensued in the following minutes actually got heated if you can believe it with my client furiously defending his assertion (don’t worry, no love lost, we go way back). Eventually I showed him the trail of news snippets that started with the facts and eventually spiraled into a living illustration of psst! pass it on gone-bad. Simply put Pioneer will continue to design market and sell Kuro (and others) badged plasma televisions they just won’t produce them.

The following is from a Pioneer press release to be circulated later today:

“Pioneer remains passionate about delivering the ultimate home theater experience based on the brand strategy the company set nearly a year ago, to bring to market the best home theater technology, including high-definition plasma televisions like KURO.To do this, Pioneer will continue to focus on what it does best which includes engineering game-changing plasma technology and producing proprietary components that differentiate Pioneer plasma televisions from the rest of the market. The next generation KURO flat panel televisions will be coming this summer as planned with no disruption in Pioneer production.

As you are aware, outsourcing is common practice among successful consumer electronics companies all over the world. Many of the most notable and respected brands of televisions, cell phones and video game consoles do not manufacture their own products. Pioneer plans to outsource production of plasma panel modules in 2009 in an effort to right-size the business.

Pioneer is developing plans with a production partner that offers the best quality and reliability in line with its own strategy and high standards, but at this point no partnership arrangements or decisions have been made.”

Listen I know not everyone got the story wrong; I’m not even trying to pretend it was the majority but I’ve seen the misinterpreted headline more times in the last 48 hours than I can even remember. Pioneer may indeed drop the Kuro line altogether one day but until then its business as usual. Outsourcing production is an everyday occurrence, it might even shock you to know who’s actually making some of your “favorite brands”, for those companies however it’s (again) just business as usual.

Posted by Philip Stamps | | Filed Under Display Technology