Panasonic to invest RM300 mil in Industry 4.0

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SHAH ALAM (Dec 7): The Panasonic Group in Malaysia plans to invest RM300 million in automation and staff up-skilling over the next three years to adopt Industry 4.0 and reduce dependency on foreign workers.

For a start, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd (PMMA), Panasonic Appliances Air Conditioning Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Panasonic AVC Networks Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Panasonic Industrial Devices Malaysia Sdn Bhd in Shah Alam will be involved in the initiative.

“We understand that in the 2019 Budget, the Government allocated about RM210 million for developing Industry 4.0.

“We hope to get some support from the Government,” Panasonic Management Malaysia Sdn Bhd Managing Director Cheng Chee Chung told reporters at the 50th anniversary celebration of Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia.

The group also celebrated the completion of three new facilities — PMMA’s new administration building, Panasonic Appliances Research and Development ( R&D) Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd’s new R&D facility, and Panasonic Appliances Air Conditioning Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s new warehouse and logistic hub — that were constructed at a cost of RM50 million.

Cheng, who is also Panasonic Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Panasonic Malaysia) Managing Director, said 23 Panasonic companies in Malaysia chalked up RM16.3 billion or 1.32% of the country’s gross domestic product last year.

Panasonic Malaysia is the sales, service and marketing arm of the group for the Panasonic brand of electrical and electronic products in Malaysia

He said Panasonic Malaysia was on track to achieve its turnover target of RM1.78 billion for the financial year ending March 31, 2019 (FY18).

Meanwhile, PMMA Board Member Siew Pui Ling said the company was expected to achieve its FY18 target of RM1.2 billion in turnover from domestic and export sales.

PMMA manufactures electric fans, home showers, vacuum cleaners, rice cookers, blenders, juicers, electric iron, dish dryers and bidets.

“About 50 per cent of our products are exported, mainly to Middle East and Asian countries.

“However, the export market is challenging and not very promising,  given the changes in Saudi Arabia’s political and (international) sanctions on Iran,” Siew said.

She remained positive on the local market as performance has been strong, especially during the recent tax holiday from June to September this year.

“Sales is expected to increase further during the upcoming Christmas and Chinese New Year festivals,” she added.