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Development of products that anticipate consumer needs
Development of Products that Anticipate Consumer Needs
Although 1953 was called the "Year of Electrification," it was in 1955 that the industry saw explosive growth of the electrical appliance market, spurred by a favorable economic climate.
New appliances were appearing that would have been unimaginable before the war, making homes more pleasant and efficient. All consumers wanted a television, washing machine and refrigerator, or the "three holy grails" as they were popularly known.
Panasonic had foreseen the dawn of the electrification age. From radios and fluorescent lights it branched out into washing machines, beginning production in 1951. At first prices were high, and few machines were produced, but growing production volumes gradually brought down the price, leading to greater sales. By 1955, the company was producing more than 5,000 units per month.
The company had TV sets on the market by 1952, well in advance of NHK's regular telecasts, which began In 1953. A powerful information medium, television had a large impact on people's life-styles and the national culture.
Sale of refrigerators began in 1953 in a jointly funded venture under the management of the Nakagawa Electric Company, which was later renamed the Matsushita Refrigeration Company.
The first high-priced model was well-received by wealthier households that could afford it, but clearly it was not a mass-market product. Prices dropped and the market grew after construction of a new production facility. Matsushita Refrigeration Company had produced 230,000 refrigerators by November 1960.
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