Panasonic a story insperation to build
The company was founded in 1918 as a producer of lightbulb sockets and has grown to become one of the largest Japanese electronics producers and non-electronic products and services such as home renovation services. Panasonic is the world’s fourth-largest television manufacturer by 2012 market share.anasonic was founded in 1918 by Kōnosuke Matsushita as a vendor of duplex lamp sockets. In the 1920’s Matsushita began regularly launching products. In 1927, he produced a line of bicycle lamps that were the first to be marketed with the “National” brand name.During World War II the company operated factories in Japan and other parts of Asia which produced electrical components and appliances such as light fixtures, motors, electric irons, wireless equipment and its first vacuum tubes.
Panasonic was founded in 1918 by Kōnosuke Matsushita as a vendor of duplex lamp sockets.In the 1920’s Matsushita began regularly launching products. In 1927, he produced a line of bicycle lamps that were the first to be marketed with the “National” brand name. During World War II the company operated factories in Japan and other parts of Asia which produced electrical components and appliances such as light fixtures, motors, electric irons, wireless equipment and its first vacuum tubes.
Shortly after Matsushita left school, he was sent away to Osaka to become an apprentice for a hibachi store. Less than a year into his apprenticeship however, the business failed and Matsushita was left looking for other employment. He then applied for a job with the Osaka Electric Light Company, an electrical utility company. Over the next couple of years, he was promoted several times and his position rose with the company. During this time, Matsushita was introduced to one of his sister’s friends, Mumeno Iue, and after a short courtship married her. Matsushita, now head of a new family, was well aware his new responsibilities. AtWatching the streetcars that had been in Osaka for some time, Konosuke decided that his future lay in the electrical business. At 15,he left the bicycle shop for a post in the Osaka Electric Light Company. Five years later, he married 19-year-old Mumeno lue. The young Matsushita was a hard worker, and 22 he had risen to the post of inspector.Around that time he designed an improved light socket and built a sample. His supervisor, however, told him that it was useless and that nothing would ever come of it.Constant poor health convinced Matsushita to leave the company to start his own business. In June 1917, Matsushita, his wife and his brother-in-law, Toshio lue, who later founded Sanyo Electric, set up shop in a tiny two-room tenement in eastern Osaka. They eventually produced the new socket, but sales were next to nil, and Mumeno had to pawn the family’s few valuables to purchase necessities. However, Matsushita had high hopes for the future and continued to devise new and better products. Towards the end of the year, Matsushita received an order from , large manufacturer to produce insulation plates for electric fans. He worked quickly and carefully to fill the order. Repeat orders followed, giving him the capital he needed to put his socket and other wiring fixtures into mass production.
Panasonic starts with a desire to create things of value. As hard work and dedication result in one innovative product after another, the fledgling company takes its first steps towards becoming the electronics giant of today.
The company that was to become Panasonic was started on March 7,1918, when Konosuke Matsushita moved from his tiny dwelling to a larger two-story house, and set up Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works. The staff consisted of three people: the 23-year-old Matsushita, 22-year-old Mumeno and her brother Toshio lue, then just 15.
They converted the three rooms on the ground floor into a workshop, and installed two hand-operated presses for molding insulation. Although production started with fan insulator plates, Matsushita was convinced that there was a huge untapped market for convenient, high quality household electrical fixtures. He stayed up late at night refining his designs, ultimately choosing to manufacture two new products-an attachment plug and a two-way socket. They proved popular as they were of higher quality than other products on the market, and were 30% to 50% cheaper. By the end of 1918, the company employed 20 people.
The fixtures were initially sold through a single wholesale outlet, but this arrangement broke down when sales fell due to heavy price cutting by other manufacturers. However, as Matsushita began dealing directly with other wholesalers, sales grew and the company found itself on firm footing.
Square bicycle lamp developed and marketed
Radio production started
In August 1930, the company set up Kokudo Electric Co. in a joint venture with a radio manufacture and began producing radios. However, the company was soon swamped with returns. Matsushita found that, although radio shops had some technical knowledge and were capable of solving minor problems, Panasonic retailers simply sent back the sets if they didn’t work.
Matsushita was convinced it was worth building a set that ordinary electrical dealers could handle. In March 1931, he took charge of Kokudo Electric, and instructed senior engineer Tetsujiro Nakao to develop a set that would meet his expectations. After three months of hard work, a prototype three-tube set was ready, which immediately won first prize in a contest sponsored by Japan’s public broadcasting station.
Up from ashes
The company enters a time of uncertainty as postwar restrictions imperil its existence. Employee rolls drop precipitously from 26,000 to a low of 4,400, and the task of rebuilding the company from scratch begins.
The curtain fell on the Pacific War with Japan’s unconditional surrender-on August 15, 1945. The war cost Japan three million lives, half of its former territory, and a fourth of its national assets. In addition, the Allied bombings had reduced many cities to rubble, and industrial production had all but halted.
Panasonic lost 32 factory and office facilities in Japan, mainly in Tokyo and Osaka, and its overseas factories and sales outlets were confiscated. Fortunately, the company’s Head Office and main factories remained.
The day after the announcement of Japan’s surrender, Matsushita called together his senior management and laid out plans for resuming production of consumer goods. On August 20, in a message to all employees, he said, “Production is the very foundation of our recovery. Let us reawaken the traditional Matsushita spirit, and complete the work of rebuilding the nation and enriching people’s lives.”
These words and Matsushita’s strong spirit brought the company’s employees out of the daze and shock of Japan’s defeat. He allayed their fears, and inspired them to continue the company’s manufacturing.