Panasonic chief thinks India is its savior

Japanese wire is running an exclusive interview with Panasonic president Fumio Ohtsubo.

Fumio San doesn’t seem very optimistic. At all.

In the interview, the president said that he was resigned to the possibility that a recovery won’t take place in Japan this year. He wasn’t pessimistic though – he thought that Panasonic will “pull out” of unprofitable operations.

He looks towards developing markets such as India and has learned a lot from major Indian combine Tata and its famous Tata Nano. Which is not a semiconductor, but a cut down motor car targeted at people who can’t afford fully fitted cars. But dealers can “add value” by adding stuff to the basic auto.

Indian people are buying the car. Panasonic will take the same approach to developing countries like India, and offer TVs and other things for Indian homes, adopting a similar strategy.

Will that depress profit margins? Fumio San said people in places like India will continue to have buying power. He told, here, that air conditioners and washing machines designed by Panasonic for China will receive government subsidies.

Panasonic’s energy products is the hope for the future in conjunction with Sanyo,  said Fumio San, here. (Subscription required).