Panasonic Selling Off Security Camera Factory

By John Honovich, Published Mar 14, 2018, 10:13am EDT

Panasonic is OEMing cameras from Dahua, as IPVM testing confirmed in 2017.

Now, Panasonic is selling their security camera factory, according to Nikkei.

In this note, we examine the move, and the problems Panasonic has had in the security industry.

Selling *******

******'* ****** ********:

********* ***** ** ***** *****-***** bidding ** ***** ***** for *** **** ** a ******* ******** ****** factory ** *** ******* moves ** *** ***** ** a ******** **** *** struggled ** **** * foothold ******* *****....

********* *********** ******* ********* over ** ******* *** ($471 *******) **** *** sale, *** *** *** discussions ** ** **** not ******* ** ********* bid.

*** $*** ******* ******** price ***** ** ******* far *** **** *** a ******* **** **** produces ************ *******. ** espect **** *** ******(***) being **** ******* **** than **** ******** ****** manufacturing.

************, ****** ******* **** Panasonic ** "******** **** hardware ** ******** **** as ****** *********** ********."

China *************

********* ** *********'* ***** website, ******** ****** ** ******* factories, ********* * ** Suzhou, *** ******** ****** reports ** *** ****. Specifically, ********* ********** **** ****** **** as ************* ******** *******, ** **** ******* shows:

************, ********* *** ************ manufactured **** ******** ******* in *****, ** **** Nikkei *** **** ******* confirm. *** **** ** which ******* ********* ***** manufacturers ** ***** ** *** disclosed.

Shift ** '*******' *****

** ****,********* ******** ** *** developer ***** *******(*** **** **** *******) and, ** ****,********* ************ ***** *******. ** ****, ***, Panasonic *** ******* ** sell ***-**-*** **** ********* ********* ** a '******* ************ ********'.

Slow **** ** ****** ***********

** *** **** ****, Panasonic *** ****** **** its ******** ****** *********** and ********. * ****** ago, ********* *** ******* one ** *** ******* security ****** *************, **** in ***** ** *** products *** *****. *******, now ** ****, **** have, ********** ******** ** Avigilon, ****, *****, ****** and *********, * ****** limited ****. ***** **** notable ****** ******* **'*******' *.*** ******* (*** IPVM **** *******).

Increasing ******

********* *** **** ********** their camera ******, ********* **** a *** ***** *** would **** ****** ************ for * ******* ***** brand *** ******** *** so ******* ***** ** imaging ******* *** ***********. It ******* **** *** Video ******* *********** *** Panasonic ******** ** *** only **** ***** *******'* Chinese / ******** *** camera ****,*******, *** ** ****** it ***** *********. *****,********* *** **** ***** cameras, ***** ***** *** ******* and ************* ******. **** move, ******, **** ** quite ***** ********* ****** in ********.

Sales ******* ********

********* *** *** **** historical *** ****** ***** channel ********. ** *** past, ********* *** ** ******** cross-selling tactic, *.*., *** *** *** **** Panasonic ********, ********** *** Medical ******** (****). ** ****** - ********* ****** ********* ** Out.

***, ********* *** ***** to * **** ************ end-to-end ************ ******** *** Panasonic *********** *** ****** ever **** ** ***** from ** *** ********. Panasonic ********'* **** ****** NA **** ** ***** and *********, ***** ***** [link ** ****** *********], was ***** *** * year, **** **** ** Hikvision.

**** ******* *** ** a ****** ** ********* contacts *** ** ******** nor ******* ***** **** is **** *** *** is ****.

Culmination ** *******

*** ******* **** ** ******** ** be ******** ********* ** much ** ** ** a ********* ** **** has ******* ****** *******. A *********** ** ********* channel ******** **** *** race ** *** ****** has ******** ********* ************* in ***** ************. **** still **** *** ********* name *** *** ******* corporation ****** **, ** they ********* **** ******** to *** **** ********. However, ***** ** * major *************, **** **** have ***** *** ** a ***** ****** ** this *****.

Poll / ****

Comments (41)

What i've heard, Panasonic is going to sell its security camera business...


But who will buy? Are they going to try to pull a Bosch / Sony? It will be harder since Panasonic owns cameras and a VMS, so it limits buyers who want both or are willing to get rid of one.

A buyer is always possible but I think they may just keep it as a shrinking division.

But who will buy?

Lenel?  They've been struggling on the VMS side for years, discontinued their VMS, and are now reselling Milestone.  Having a camera line, their own VMS, and a bunch of NVRs for legacy sites may make them a one-stop shop for Enterprise clients.  If they developed VI more it could be a competitive product.

Hikvision or Dahua?  Panasonic does have a strong presence in the Enterprise space where both have been trying to break into.  Instantly they would own some large accounts to push their product into.  Neither has a decent VMS so there is limited overlap there.

I don't know how big of nest egg some of these other Chinese manufacturers are - is it beyond them to buy their way into the US market?



I don't know how big of nest egg some of these other Chinese manufacturers

Have you seen how much Dahua and Hikvision have been spending on sales and marketing? :) Yes, I think they can afford it.

The problem is I doubt Panasonic would let any buyer continue to use the Panasonic brand. For example, Dahua bought Lorex / FLIR SMB from FLIR but the FLIR brand is going to be shortly phased out. So without the Panasonic brand, how much are they going to pay just for access to the accounts? 

Lenel is an interesting idea actually. As you describe it, I agree there are some 'synergies' there. Whether Lenel is interested and where is Lenel going with its own issues, I am not sure.

Lenel is an interesting idea actually.

Unlike Dahua or Hikvision, Lenel would not need to rely on the Panasonic brand name to keep a strong presence in the enterprise space.  Lenel is already there.

But maybe Lenel could pull a Bosch/Sony, keep the Panasonic brand and become Panasonic's sales channel outside of Japan.

It sounds like they are trying to sell their camera factory, not necessarily their camera business.  So they want to get out of making their own cameras and expand their Dahua OEM.  They probably realize that they can buy/OEM Dahua cameras cheaper than they can make them themselves and with them losing market share, their factory is just dead weight.


So, they sell off their factory and focus their efforts on software while buying cameras from Dahua.  It makes sense in the big picture. The real question is, what vendor will want to buy their factory, or will another company buy the factory at a huge discount and turn it into making cell phones or something else.  Perhaps Bosch will buy it to expand their production?


They probably realize that they can buy/OEM Dahua cameras cheaper than they can make them themselves

IPVM 'realizes' that we can re-run manufacturer press releases cheaper than we can produce our own reporting but we are not going to do that.

My point is that Panasonic is a real camera manufacturer, not some trading brand like Lorex or Supercircuits. Panasonic should either be focused and capable of out-innovating Dahua or they should give up - damaging their brand by OEMing Dahua is dangerous even if it makes them some short-term dollars. Agree/disagree?

I do agree that Panasonic is a real manufacturer and I wish they would keep making cameras. I just wonder if they have decided not to and to move to OEM so they can focus on the software since there's such downward pressure on camera hardware prices these days.  


Is Panasonic good at software development? I don't mean to be flip about it but hardware manufacturing is Panasonic's 'thing'. This is a company who for years developed their own imagers. It strikes me as a very hard pivot to go from a hardware manufacturer to a software one.

I do agree that Panasonic is a real manufacturer and I wish they would keep making cameras.

I agree.  I worry about who will be left when the smoke clears in the next 5-10 years.  Reassuringly, though their main Panasonic product line does have some Dahua infiltration on the low end most of the products are still Panasonic, I believe.

This assumes that Advidia is a separate entity that we all ignore...

You can’t polish a turd


You can’t polish a turd



"dorodango" - a useful word to describe some security products (like prox readers.)

who says you never learn anything on ipvm.

Update: USA shipping records show a significant increase in Hikvision shipments to Panasonic. 13 total shipments over the last 2 years but 6 in just the past 4 months.

See Panasonic - Hikvision USA Shipping Records March 2018, screencap below of highlights:

Advidia just rolled out a slew of new models, which many could be Hik OEMs. Its possible those recent imports are the stocking orders of new models. 

I do not consider companies OEMing as real camera manufacturers.

If you cannot or will not design and produce your own hardware, please quit.

We have no need for five different brands of the same camera models.

"If you cannot or will not design and produce your own hardware, please quit."

Can't think of too many products, in a wide variety of industries, that don't OEM some, much, or most of their final product. The customer these days doesn't seem to look at the source of each component...rather they value the branding based on marketing, service, support, utility, etc.

Let me explain it like this: A camera manufacturer designs and produces their own cameras, but brands certain accessories (power supplies, converters, etc.) as part of their offering. I will consider them a camera manufacturer.

Another so-called camera manufacturer designs and produces no cameras on their own, but rather OEMs entire line-ups from another manufacturer. I will not consider them a camera manufacturer. 

I see your point about marketing, service, support and utility, but from what I can see most of the companies engaging in heavy OEMing do nothing to differentiate themselves from the manufacturer they OEM from. 

Alexander...totally agree.  I guess my point is that there are no "pure" camera makers anymore.  We frequently see camera producers use major component parts such as Sony and other sensor chips, for example.  My thoughts are that many manufacturers/suppliers sometimes re-brand finished goods to fill holes in their offerings, to present as complete a package as possible.  Perhaps the "marketing-only" Internet sales groups can be more accurately described as not being "real camera manufacturers", but where do you apply the filter as to how much of a device is "pure"?

IMO it's about adding value. If you're OEMing the whole camera, you can't(shouldn't) call yourself a camera manufacturer. But if you're still adding value beyond what is available from the original manufacturer, then I don't think they are probably the target of Alexander's ire.

An OEM could add value by providing excellent service/support, or by providing useful tools for managing cameras. They could have their firmware customized to improve the quality or add features/plugins. There's plenty of value that can be added by an OEM, but it seems the most popular thing to do is re-brand and ship, and shim an ineffective service/support layer between the integrator and the real manufacturer.

Are there any such OEM's out there? I don't know.

If you are using a Sony imager or chip, but creating your own PCB, housing, lens modules, etc. that is totally different from labeling your brand on a complete assembly. At some point you source components. Not going all the way to the mine for raw materials.

We have no need for five different brands of the same camera models.

Worse, these companies are OEMing from companies who are spending far more on sales and marketing in their own local markets than them.

For example, Dahua spends far more in sales and marketing in North American than Panasonic (in video surveillance). Yes, Dahua sales management is dysfunctional but so is Panasonic's. Panasonic will certainly win some with their brand (despite buyers not getting real Panasonic) but Dahua has big advantages by spending more marketing and by being able to sell at lower prices. It's destructive, more so for Panasonic than Dahua. Related, OEMs, Dump Dahua

You're obviously correct.
But the reason they brand their own models is simply the only mechanism possible to avoid the destruction the total lack of professional sales channels the Chinese manufacturers engage in.

Regardless of the size of the Chinese maker, the sales policy is consistent.
Have a Pulse?
Have an email address?
OK, we'll sell to you.

Oh, you're Chinese and have a warehouse in America?
Congrats, we'll offer you 20% less cost than the American.
No one speaks English at your facility? No worries, end users and installers
will buy from you based on price, but will call an American for support.


Panasonic consolidated Video Insight. As such, now, Panasonic has shifted to sell end-to-end or as Panasonic describes it a 'Unified Surveillance Strategy'.

I wish someone would emphasize this to the sales reps in the field.  There is slightly more action from the Panasonic reps acknowledging the existence of VI than pre-consolidation, but little else.  Why would a rep sell VI for free even if it may be a stronger solution than ASC970 and a bunch of NVRs?  When a product is valued at free how much R&D funding is available to sink into it?

Even though their new cameras such as the AeroPTZ, 2531L, the 4K bullet, and new (non-Dahua) PTZs are great Panasonic is out of date on the recording side of surveillance.  I have to wonder if the factory being closed was producing NVRs and not cameras.

Being the Cutco of CCTV isn't the best business model these days. To many competitors doing the same. 

What if they are selling it to build cameras of their own in Japan?

Panasonic cameras are already expensive - that move would make them astronomical.

After Panasonic had bought VideoInsight, we stopped dealing with the product as the new Panasonic ownership seemed to be trying to push us to use their cameras. At the end it seems Video Insight seems to have lost suppliers while Panasonic failed to sell more of their own cameras.

In our testing last year, we confirmed the 'V', or value, series was OEMed from Dahua.

Now, there is a new 'E' or entry level Panasonic series that is starting to be released, a low cost offering that is likely to be OEMed as well.

What a shame.

They are really damaging their brand reputation inside large accounts with these antics. 

Sad to see VI get sucked into the bureaucracy of Panasonic. A once aggressive company that could make things happen by doing whatever it could to make customers feel appreciated. I feel for the old VI employee's that have now joined the land of NO being purchased by Panasonic. I hope someone made some $ there on that sell. John did you ever find out what the VI owners were paid to sell to Panasonic?  


John did you ever find out what the VI owners were paid to sell to Panasonic?

No, I suspect it was in the $30 to $90 million range, assuming that VI was doing a few tens of millions in revenue.

VI was a sensible acquisition. However, it seems Panasonic has not taken advantage of it.

Related, the VI co-founders, Whitcomb and Shaw, both left in March 2017. Shaw lists himself as 'unemployed' on LinkedIn but I assume he's doing ok...

Here's what I think about Panasonic. The brand meant everything back in the day.

Every thing I ever bought from them lasted forever. I have a 35 year old boom box!!!

Then I buy a Panasonic Blue Ray streaming device with the worst remote ever made!

It's also glitchy and freezes up often while operating and I hate it compared to Roku.

so a lifetime of love and affinity for a brand is destroyed in one $120 purchase.

If I open the box and put the mach ID on-line, who will be the OEM? Brand MATTERS! 

realistically I highly doubt there is any validity to the claim of panasonic selling off their camera side of the house. I have a feeling they maybe trying to delineate away from any relationship with dahou or hikivision. they could even be revamping their manufacturing to meet lower cost demands, not abnormal for companies as large as panasonic 

realistically I highly doubt there is any validity to the claim of panasonic selling off their camera side of the house.

What is being claimed is that they are selling off the factory. The business of selling cameras will remain but the manufacturing would go elsewhere, either to a contract manufacturer or to an OEM.

Just a quick note: we have now added all Panasonic E-series cameras to the calculator.

With all of the Chinese product invading Panasonic's product line how long until we start to see Analog HD devices?

As has been hinted at preiously, panasonic security still has manufacturing facilities in Japan. They build and moved production to China for lowered costs.. So don't just assume that they have to do contract manufacturing or oem... 

#12 are you suggesting they are going to move back to manufacturing in Japan? If so, that is inconsistent with their OEM expansion which is clearly a cost lowering move whereas manufacturing in Japan would not lower cost, to say the least.

End of an era.

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