Panasonic to axe 5000 staff

Employees in Panasonic's automotive and industrial division will be affected.

In the firm's latest bid to improve profit margins, Panasonic will be cutting down labor costs.


Yoshihiko Yamada, head of the automotive and industrial division, told analysts and investors during a presentation in Tokyo that approximately 5,000 staff face the axe, according to Reuters.

"A reduction in labor costs will be a big part of our plan to improve profitability," Yamada commented. In order to try and bolster the ailing firm's operating margins by at least five percent (the target set by Panasonic's president, Kazuhiko Tsuga), the automotive and industrial divisions are next to feel the pinch.

Panasonic's automotive and industrial divisions manufacture and create vehicle components and production machinery. Currently, 110,000 people are employed in these areas, which equates to approximately a third of Panasonic's entire workforce.

As Tsuga looks to move the Japanese firm away from consumer electronics in order to focus solely on B2B sales, the electronics giant has reportedly made plans to exit the plasma television market  as well as the healthcare industry. In addition, recent reports suggest that Panasonic will be cutting away 20 percent of its employees within the lithium-ion battery division , where batteries are produced that are suitable for computers and mobile devices focused on consumers. 

Last year, Panasonic was said to be considering downsizing  its mobile business in the Europe  market to streamline the business and hopefully increase profitability.