By Chris Nicholls
TOKYO: After 90 years in consumer electronics and whitegoods, the Matsushita and National names will disappear after 1 October, merged under the Panasonic umbrella following a decision by company shareholders.
The intention to change names was announced initially in January, but remained dependent on final shareholder approval at yesterday’s AGM.
With final confirmation in place, the National whitegoods brand will begin its transformation to Panasonic from 1 October, with a goal to remove the name entirely from retailer’s shelves by the middle of next year, Matsushita said in a statement.
The disappearance of the Matsushita and National names ends a long period in Japanese electrical manufacturing history, with Matsushita creating National, along with Panasonic, in 1935 after becoming a listed company.
Panasonic became Matsushita’s company’s global brand from 2003, when it also introduced the “Ideas for life” slogan. The move to make Panasonic the company name in Japan is a significant move, with a large amount of brand equity in both National and Matsushita names.
Despite the global move to Panasonic branding, the Matsushita name will remain in China, where Matsushita said it is easier to keep the phonetic characters that represent the old name than try and choose characters that come close to how ‘Panasonic’ sounds.