Panasonic closes Hungary solar plant, cuts 550 jobs

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TOKYO – Japanese electronics giant Panasonic said Friday it will close its only European solar cell plant in Hungary, resulting in the loss of 550 jobs.

The assembly factory in the city of Dorog will end production in September before its official closure in March, a Panasonic spokeswoman in Tokyo said.

But the firm will maintain its overall global solar cell production level by moving the European workload to other solar cell factories in Japan and Malaysia.

The decision came as the European solar cell market shrinks, partly due to cuts in government subsidies.

Japanese market solar cell market has grown, thanks to public incentive programs for renewable energy.

“This sector constantly experiences dramatic changes of demand. Our decision is to deal with the changes in the sector,” the spokeswoman said.

“We wanted to increase our cost competitiveness and profitability,” she said.

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