The company was founded in 1918 as a producer of lightbulb sockets and has grown to become one of the largest Japanese electronics producers in the world. In addition to electronics, it offers non-electronic products and services such as home renovation services. Panasonic is the world’s fourth-largest television manufacturer by 2012 market share.
From 1935 to October 1, 2008, the company name was “Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. On January 10, 2008, the company announced that it would change its name to “Panasonic Corporation”, in effect on October 1, 2008, to conform with its global brand name “Panasonic”.
The company used the National brand outside North America from the 1950s to the 1970s (the trademark could not be used in the United States because it was already in use by the National Radio Company in a closely related product area). It sold televisions, VHS VCRs, high fidelity stereo receivers, multi-band shortwave radios and marine radio direction finders, often exported to North America under various U.S. brand names, such as Technics, Emerson, Curtis Mathes and of course Panasonic. The company also developed a line of home appliances such as rice cookers for the Japanese and Asian markets. Rapid growth resulted in the company opening manufacturing plants around the world.
The company debuted a hi-fidelity audio speaker in Japan in 1965 with the brand Technics. This line of high quality stereo components became worldwide favorites, the most famous products being its turntables, such as the SL-1200 record player, known for its high performance, precision and durability. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Panasonic continued to produce high-quality specialized electronics for niche markets such as shortwave radios, and developed its successful line of stereo receivers, CD players and other components.
Nowadays, Panasonic offers a wide range of products and services, including air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, compressors, lighting, televisions, personal computers, mobile phones, audio equipment, cameras, broadcasting equipment, projectors, automotive electronics, aircraft in-flight entertainment systems, semiconductors, lithium batteries, electrical components, optical devices, bicycles, electronic materials and photovoltaic modules.
In June 2016, Tesla Motors, Inc. announced that Panasonic Corporation would be the exclusive supplier of batteries for its mass market vehicle Model 3. Batteries for the higher-end Model S sedan and Model X SUV will also be supplied by Panasonic