JAPAN: Panasonic is to invest an additional JPY15bn (€105m) in its Czech factory as part of plans to accelerate growth of its European air-to-water heat pump and hydronic systems business.
This new investment combined with the investment announced in October last year and the acquisition of Systemair’s air conditioning business, announced in November 2022, brings Panasonic’s total investment in the European region to JPY80bn (€560m).
Panasonic sees Europe as a priority region being recognised a front runner in the transition to a carbon-free society. On April 1, the company will establish an HVAC Business Division Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany, transferring development, manufacturing and sales functions to the region and shift to regionally optimised management.
In order to meet growing demand and strengthen profitability, the Czech plant will be doubled in size compared to the original plan as part of plans to further expand its A2W production capacity to 1 million units globally in the medium term.
Following the completion of the acquisition of the Systemair’s air conditioning business, the HVAC Company will accelerate the hydronic systems business with products manufactured at factories in France and Italy. This will enable Panasonic to offer a complete lineup of hot-water supply, heating, and air conditioning equipment for residential and commercial use, and provide solutions to meet a wide range of needs.
On the development side, a new R&D centre will be established in Milan. It will develop residential and commercial hydronic systems and models that use low GWP refrigerants, as well as conduct research on clean technology, sensor technology, and indoor air quality.
It will also strengthen cloud development to expand IoT-based services for customers after equipment delivery. Remote monitoring and fault detection of equipment will reduce the management workload and enable timely inspections and repairs. In addition, the visualisation of energy consumption and air quality will enable energy savings and an optimal indoor environment, resulting in the safe, reliable, and comfortable use of products for a long time.
Speaking at the ISH exhibition today, Hiroshi Komatsubara, recently appointed MD of Panasonic HVAC Business Division Europe, commented: “We are investing €550m in the European market with a range of activities including developing our Czech factory to strengthen A2W production and expanding the Panasonic R&D Centre in Italy working on local-fit product, low-GWP refrigerant product, clean technology, sensing technology, indoor air quality solutions as well as other initiatives.”