Daikin and Panasonic first co-operated in parts procurement and the processing of discarded products under a consumer electronics recycling law in 1999.
Panasonic, then known as Matsushita, was the leading manufacturer of domestic air conditioners and Daikin the largest supplier of commercial air conditioners in Japan. The two firms hoped the alliance would allow them to become the world’s leading producers of air conditioners.
Panasonic was at one time selling badged Daikin units in Europe and the two companies also planned joint development of key components and technologies. In 2004 they went as far as establishing a $20.8m Chinese joint venture company to produce compressor motors.
However, the alliance never achieved the anticipated success. Irrespective of the alliance, Daikin achieved a world no 1 position through acquisitions and product developments and Panasonic acquired a significant commercial market share through the acquisition of Sanyo.