By Chris Nicholls

TOKYO: Pioneer has announced it will focus more on developing integrated telematics systems for in-car navigation and entertainment, as well as home entertainment networking and wireless technologies, following the company’s decision to end plasma panel manufacturing.

The move to focus more on navigation was the most important move to improve the company’s profitability, Pioneer said. Pioneer will work to develop integrated in-car navigation and entertainment systems that integrate with mobile phones and mobile internet systems to assist drivers with constantly updating information, which also respond in real-time to customer’s requests.

The global focus will be on increasing features on its in-dash navigation systems to counter the rising popularity of portable systems. Pioneer will also seek to counter contracting navigation unit sales in developed countries by working to introduce DVD-based navigation systems, instead of the cheaper CD-based systems popular currently, in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, China and India) countries.

Pioneer’s home electronics efforts will centre on Blu-ray technology and creating wireless home networks to allows users to control streaming content around the house.

In its speaker business, Pioneer said it will seek to move into new areas, such as mobile phone speakers and new categories within business-use speakers.

To increase economies of scale, Pioneer will also work on speaker development and production at Tohoku Pioneer Corporation, which is now a fully-owned subsidiary of Pioneer. It said it hoped to reap benefits from the subsidiary by also using its home speaker technology in car speakers.

“By working hard on these and other initiatives, we aim to grow our speaker business roughly 1.5-fold over the medium term to become the world’s leading speaker manufacturer in terms of both quantity and quality,” the company said.