Panasonic prepares to double DVD disc manufacturing output by the end of the year

DVD discs are all but flying off of retailers“ shelves, and Panasonic is taking bold steps to meet the demand. Panasonic Disc Services Corporation, based in this city, and its Japan-based parent company, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., are planning a massive, worldwide expansion of DVD disc production capacity. By the end of 2000, Panasonic will more than double its global output to 14 million discs per month, from the current monthly level of 6 million discs. The U.S. Consumer Electronics Association identifies DVD players as the fastest selling consumer electronics product of all time.

”The popularity of the DVD format is growing at a staggering rate,“ says Panasonic Disc Services Corporation President Bob Pfannkuch. ”To keep up with demand, the six Panasonic DVD disc-making plants in North America, Europe and Japan are preparing to dramatically boost their output.’

In addition to its Torrance facility, Panasonic Disc Services Corporation has three subsidiaries: a joint venture plant with Universal Music located in Pinckneyville, IL, and two joint venture factories with the Eastman Kodak Company located in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Youghal, Ireland. In Japan, Matsushita Electric operates two DVD disc-making plants. By the end of this year, combined North American production capacity for the Panasonic DVD plants in California, Illinois and Mexico will rise to 10 million monthly units. The two Japan-based facilities will increase total output to 2.8 million units per month, while the Ireland factory will expand monthly capacity to 1.2 million units.

Panasonic Disc Services Corporation was established in 1997 as the world’s first DVD-only replication facility. The company is a subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., one of the world’s leading developers of technologies for and producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. Matsushita Universal Media Services LLC of America, a joint venture between Panasonic Disc Services Corporation and Universal Music and Video Distribution, was established in May 1999. The joint venture operates a DVD and CD disc replication plant in Pinckneyville, IL.

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