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Panasonic-Toshiba CRT plants close in Europe, US

Poor old cathode ray

Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display, a joint venture of Matsushita Electric Industrial – otherwise known as Panasonic – and Toshiba, has decided to close its CRT-manufacturing European and US subsidiaries, the organisation said on Wednesday.

MT Picture Display Germany – of Esslingen, Germany – and Ohio's MT Picture Display Corporation of America will both be closed before the end of March 2006, the group said. The European unit manufactured CRTs for large-screen televisions and the US plant made CRTs for both large-screen and projection TVs.

The European factory employs 605 workers; the US factory employs 727. Matsushita plans to begin talks with worker unions and representatives.

The fast-declining price of flat-panel televisions based on LCD and PDP (plasma display panel) technology is pushing consumers to favour these newer technologies over sets structured around bulkier CRTs.

For example, during the first nine months of this year, shipments in Japan of CRT-based televisions with screen sizes of 30in and above stood at 80,000 units, according to figures from the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association. In contrast, shipments of LCD TVs with screen sizes of 30in and above was one million units, and those of PDP-based sets was 310,000 units.


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