JAPAN/SINGAPORE: Panasonic has announced it will cease the manufacturing of refrigeration compressors in Singapore by the end of September 2022.
The decision is said to have been taken in light of the “challenging” global business outlook and as part of the Japanese manufacturer’s long-term business strategic review of the refrigeration compressor business portfolio.
Panasonic says it will now consolidate its compressor manufacturing operations to its existing facilities in Malacca (Malaysia) and Wuxi (China), including the casting operations at its current factory in Malacca (Malaysia).
Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore has been one of the major global refrigeration compressor manufacturers since 1972, manufacturing inverter compressors for fridges, water coolers, and vending machines.
Around 700 employees are affected by the decision, but Panasonic insists that Singapore remains a regional and important hub for the business. Singapore will remain as the global headquarters of the refrigeration compressor business and retain its R&D facility.
Panasonic moved its refrigeration compressor business headquarters from from Kusatsu City, Shiga, Japan, to Singapore in 2017. The company said the move would allow it to more effectively meet growing customer demands in the Asian markets as well as to build a locally-based management structure for real-time decision making. At that time, Panasonic planned a full revamp of the Singapore factory to include automated guided vehicles, optimised supply routes, the establishment of centralised storage, implementation of big data and automation.