In April 2004, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. and Matsushita Electric Works Ltd. entered into a new capital relationship, thus becoming a single group in both name and form.
Matsushita Electric Works shares were additionally acquired through take-over bid(TOB), thus increasing ownership to 51% and paving way for the creation of a comprehensive partnership. The agreement was reached in December 2003 and related preparations followed.
The creation of this relationship meant the birth of a “new corporate group” with world-class management resources. As we moved toward a maximizing of the Group’s corporate value, we set about building an optimal business structure from the consumer perspective.
At the signing ceremony, Matsushita Electric Industrial President Nakamura (right) and Matsushita Electric Works President Hatanaka (left) shake hands.
Both companies originate from founder Konosuke Matsushita’s management principle. In 1935, Matsushita Electric Works had become a separate entity by taking on the business of the Wiring Device, Synthetic Resins, and Conduit Divisions. Ever since that time both companies maintained their cooperative relationship as core corporate entities within the Group while playing off each other’s development through business operations based on their own independent strategies.
However, the 21st century brought with it intensified global competition that demanded products and services based on new values that included appropriate responses to a networked society and the environment. In order to meet the needs of the day, both companies reached the decision that the best choice would be to bring together their respective strengths under their common management principle and apply the aggregate competencies of the Group toward the forging of a new framework. In September 2004, the two companies realigned the development, manufacturing, and sales functions that had become redundant between them. Appliance business would be consolidated under the Matsushita Electric Industrial banner, and electrical supplies business and building materials and equipment business under Matsushita Electric Works.
Then, in October, Matsushita Electric Industrial’s Panasonic Center and Matsushita Electric Works’ Shiodome Showroom underwent renovation to newly establish “Panasonic Center Tokyo” and “National Center Tokyo” as one-stop information hubs for the Group.
In November 2004, the first set of “Collaboration V-products” of both companies was announced: bathtubs, toilets, kitchenware, and furniture for home use. Products that wedded the black-box technologies of both companies and came about through Groupwide efforts, they featured a combination of Panasonic Corporation’s energy-saving and resource-saving technologies, user-friendliness that had been spawned by research results, and Matsushita Electric Works’ space design technology and home solutions competency. This was followed up by collaborative products in areas such as home safety, open area security, and lighting.
Stone monument with the character for “the path” as written by Konosuke
On November 27, 2004, the 110th observance of the birth of founder Konosuke Matsushita, the unveiling ceremony was held for the stone monument that marks where he founded the business in Ohiraki in Osaka's Fukushima Ward.
It was in Ohiraki in 1918 that a then 23-year-old Konosuke founded “Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works,” the company that would become Panasonic. For the ensuing 15 years, until the company relocated to Kadoma City in 1933, operations continued in Ohiraki, thus laying the cornerstone of the business.
The erection of the stone monument was part of an effort by the confederated town council to revitalize Ohiraki, where locals had lamented the lack of any sort of indication that the town was where Konosuke had started the business. In 2003, in response to the town council’s fund-raising efforts for “The Committee for Businesses Related to Ohiraki-cho and Founder Konosuke Matsushita,” about 9,300 locals as well as current and former Panasonic Corporation employees responded. The result was the erection of the stone monument in a current part of Ohiraki Park where the second headquarters and plant had been located.
Standing 1.8 meters in height and two meters wide, the stone monument is inscribed with the character for “the path” as written by Konosuke himself. In addition to the stone monument, Ohiraki also has positioned plaques indicating the house where the company started and where the first headquarters and plant and second plant (lamp assembly plant) were located.