Panasonic and Bosch to supply each other
The Japanese company already builds components for such products as microwave ovens sold by Bosch, but starting in 2015, it will also supply Bosch with system kitchens. In exchange, the German company will sell some of the white goods it handles in Europe under the Panasonic brand name.
By using Bosch's production bases and sales routes, Panasonic aims to boost its cost competitiveness and broaden its share of the European market, which it considers second in importance as a white goods market only to Asia.
Panasonic plans to boost the sales at its appliance business in Europe to 330 billion yen ($3.10 billion) in fiscal 2018, compared with the roughly 280 billion yen it garnered in fiscal 2013.
Strengthening its relationship with Bosch is a strategy that follows on the company's investment last year in Slovenian appliance maker Gorenje. Panasonic is now that company's second-largest shareholder with a 13% stake. It is using Gorenje to make refrigerators for European consumers, and is collaborating with the company in product development. ■