Sanyo staff's closure fears growing for three years

The news of the closure of Lowestoft's Sanyo factory may not surprise too many in light of the current economic predicament, but in truth the alarm bells were ringing for the company more than three years ago.

The news of the closure of Lowestoft's Sanyo factory may not surprise too many in light of the current economic predicament, but in truth the alarm bells were ringing for the company more than three years ago.

In November 2005, fears over Sanyo's staff in the east coast town were raised after the company accelerated plans to cut thousands of jobs worldwide.

Scores of job losses were made in Lowestoft from 2006 onwards and by the time the gates of the School Road factory shuts for the final time, just 60 workers will be there to witness the end of an era.

Sanyo suffered as demand for traditional cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions plummeted, but revealed plans for a major investment in the production of new-style flat-screen televisions. However, the hugely competitive market was being flooded by cheap goods, primarily from China, eastern Europe and Turkey, meaning the operation in Lowestoft became less and less viable.


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In what has now emerged as a final throw of the dice in December 2006, Sanyo ploughed its resources into producing weatherproof large-screen monitors for the commercial market after announcing about 100 job cuts.

There were even hopes Sanyo would be able to build up its workforce again, but the credit crunch has now cruelly put paid to such aspirations.

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It is all a far cry from the Lowestoft company's 20th anniversary celebrations in 2002 when Sanyo's Japanese bosses committed themselves to a continued presence in the town.

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