14.10.13

Mitsubishi stops manufacture of projectors and public displays

Mitsubishi has closed its front projector and public display business to focus on display wall cubes and narrow bezel LCD products.

The decision was made against a backdrop of increased commercialisation and competition in the projector market as well as predictions of a decline in projector sales.

All manufacturing of the affected ranges has stopped but Mitsubishi will continue to manufacture spare parts and lamps until March 2019. 

Speaking to InAVate, Mitsubishi Display Solutions’ EMEA business manager Peter van Dijk said that throughout the EMEA region all branches, offices and factories would remain open but did confirm redundancies.

"Unfortunately and this is with much regret there will be redundancies due to this decision," he said. 

Organisational changes in the region will take place. “The display wall cube and super narrow bezel units will be headed by the Benelux branch,” confirmed van Dijk. “Purchasing, the warehouse and the marketing will come from our office in Mijdrecht, [the Netherlands].”

Printer and medical equipment will be managed in the same way from Mitsubishi’s Spanish office.

Mitsubishi had continued to plough R&D spend into front projector and public display until recently, launching its solid state LaserVue series at ISE in January 2013, so the full closure is a dramatic turnaround.

Van Dijk couldn’t confirm the exact timeline that led to the closure but said: “[The launches] go to show the Mitsubishi was very serious in continuing the [front projector] business. The decision doesn’t go back that far.”

However, he added: “If you have high R&D costs in a sector where profitability is less then at some point you may want to use those funds in sectors where you are profitable. In this case that was display wall cubes and super narrow bezel”.

Not only were the front projector and public display segments less profitable, they were eating R&D budgets, according to van Dijk.

“These are very competitive sectors,” he said. “The lifecycle of product development is shortening so you have to deliver innovative products in a smaller time frame so your R&D costs increase.”

The R&D costs combined with global economy woes and a number of analyst predictions of a decline in projectors appears to have finished off Mitsubishi’s activities in this area.

There will now be a huge shake-up in Mitsubishi’s distribution channel but van Dijk said that the company would be refocusing efforts into remaining display products.

“We are moving away from ‘box moving’ products,” he said. “So a number of distributors will be affected. On the other hand we are also working together with system integrators and AV dealers. System integrators will be the key customers that will handle display wall cubes. Super narrow bezel will be handled by system integration and AV dealers.

“System integrators are already important for us in the sale of display wall cubes to end users and this will become an even bigger focus for Mitsubishi.”