Major Japanese electronics manufacturer Matsushita said it is eyeing expanding global sales of DVD recorders as the key to sales growth in the next few years.
"Along with flat-panel television sets and memory cards, DVD recorders will be a key product to drive up our earnings in the coming years," said Akira Kadota, spokesman for Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., better known by its Panasonic and National brands.
Matsushita, along with its Japanese rivals, is aiming to lure foreign consumers with the new product, which digitally records high quality images onto a DVD disc, to stay competitive during the upcoming Christmas sales season.
Global demand for DVD recorders was 200,000 units in the year to March 2002. Demand jumped to 1.3 million units in the following year, according to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA).
Matsushita Electric has so far kept roughly a 50 percent global market share for DVD recorders.
As the machines gradually supersede video cassette recorders, the company expects the global market to grow to 4.42 million units in the year to March 2004 and to 13.65 million units in the following year.
In those two years, North American demand for DVD recorders is seen skyrocketing from 1.1 million units to 6.5 million, while the European market will grow from 900,000 units to 3.4 million units.