By James Wells
SYDNEY: Panasonic Australia has told Current.com.au it has postponed planned price rises on 1 February indefinitely and will not advise when they will be eventually implemented.
“Panasonic is revising the timetable for the introduction of price rises. This is not a backflip and there has been no change in direction, just a change to the timing of the price rise introduction,” said Panasonic Australia consumer electronics director, Paul Reid.
The only increase Panasonic plans to implement on 1 February will be for microwaves, but this has been dropped by 12 per cent from the original rise.
“On 1 February, the scale of the increase in microwaves is changing from an average of 22 per cent to an average of 10 per cent,’ Reid said.
On 1 December 2008, Reid told Current.com.au he would “almost certainly be undertaking price rises in the new year” and advised that timing was still to be decided.
As recently as last week, Panasonic announced it would increase prices by between 8 and 22 per cent as a direct result of the sudden shift in the exchange rate between the Australian dollar and the US dollar. LCD and plasma televisions received a nine per cent increase.
“It is very much our intention to implement a price rise and we have advised our retailers that we will keep them informed as the new timetable is developed,” Reid told Current.com.au today.
“There are a lot of factors contributing to this review and there is no one reason for this decision. We have had exceptionally strong demand for Panasonic products over the last few months and we understand there are a lot of consumers waiting on the delivery of products. We are also mindful of our competitive position and we are still in discussion with our factories regarding the current economic situation.
“We haven’t changed our intent to increase prices, all we have changed at this point is the timing. We do not take this decision lightly and we are monitoring it on a daily basis as we move forward,” he said.