Waveney MP hits out at Sanyo

AN MP has hit out at a multinational electrical firm after its boss wrote to him to explain the decision to close its television factory in Lowestoft.Waveney MP Bob Blizzard accused Sanyo of being 'short-sighted' in failing to back its Lowestoft workforce in the development of a new product, after he received a letter from the Japanese headquarters.

AN MP has hit out at a multinational electrical firm after its boss wrote to him to explain the decision to close its television factory in Lowestoft.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard accused Sanyo of being 'short-sighted' in failing to back its Lowestoft workforce in the development of a new product, after he received a letter from the Japanese headquarters.

Local managers refused to comment when the School Road factory shut its doors for the last time at the end of February, with the loss of 60 jobs, despite it pioneering a giant 82in monitor for outdoor use.

The monitor, which had been touted as a product to safeguard Sanyo's future in Lowestoft, was well received at a recent trade exhibition in Amsterdam, but the credit crunch meant no immediate orders were forthcoming.


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In a letter to Mr Blizzard, Sanyo's executive director and president Seiichiro Sano, said: 'Crucial to the survival of SIUK (Sanyo Industries UK) is the need to obtain orders for the 82in monitor…

'This product was extremely well received by visitors to the exhibition in Amsterdam and impressed them with its performance and technology.

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'Unfortunately, however, with the effect of the shortage of funds and severe reduction of advertising revenue, we have not been successful in obtaining orders and it suggests that the prospect of this business will be quite severe.'

Sanyo, which launched its Lowestoft operation in 1982, once boasted a staff of about 450 producing some 500,000 domestic television sets a year. However, as cheap and modern imports flooded the market, Sanyo was forced to cut jobs and look at new outdoor monitors for use by the advertising industry.

Mr Blizzard, who launched a last-ditch bid to save Sanyo's Lowestoft factory, said: 'It is a very short-sighted approach from a global company. They have got a product that must have a future. It is clear there will be a market for such a product, but they are cutting it off now. As far as I am aware, it is not going to be possible for Sanyo to be able to produce this product any-where else. Lowestoft is the only part of the Sanyo empire with the expert-ise and capability to make this.'

Mr Blizzard said he had suggested that Sanyo try to sell its Lowestoft operation to another producer, or even suspend production until the economy improved.

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