Sanyo's 'Think GAIA' Vision and Turnaround Efforts

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR251
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2004-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd.
Industry : Electricals and Electronics
Countries : Worldwide

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

Though some of the company's environment-friendly products were successful, the sales of its mainstream products continued to fall. In January 2006, after a major management reshuffle, Sanyo decided to exit from the organic light-emitting diodes (OLED),4 CRT television (in Japan and Europe), DVD and VCR businesses. Among other reasons, this was done so that the company could allocate more resources to developing and marketing environment-friendly products.

Background Note

Sanyo began as Sanyo Electric Works in 1947 in Moriguchi, Osaka. Initially, it manufactured bicycle generator lamps. Right from the start, it was known for the quality of its products. In 1950, it changed its name to Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. (Sanyo). In 1952, Sanyo became the first company to launch plastic radios in Japan. In 1953, the company started manufacturing televisions. It also launched washing machines with a 'pulsator', a revolutionary technology then. In 1954, the company was listed on the Tokyo and Osaka stock exchanges. In 1956, the company launched electric fans and heaters. In 1961, it started manufacturing split air conditioners for home use in Japan, the first company to do so.

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In 1969, it established two subsidiaries - Sanyo Electric Credit Co. Ltd (SECCL) and Sanyo BC. In 1970, the company established a product development center.

In 1971, Sanyo Electric Distribution Co. Ltd. (later to be renamed Sanyo Electric Logistics Co. Ltd.) was established. In 1975, Sanyo acquired Fisher, a European consumer electronics company. In 1975, it became the first company to develop manganese-dioxide-lithium batteries and it started mass producing these by 1978. In 1979, it launched Amorton, the world's first amorphous silicon solar battery. In 1983, it launched a refrigerator with a chiller, a breakthrough feature then. In 1986, the company adopted a new wordmark5 (Refer Exhibit I for the company's wordmark). In 1989, Sanyo launched the world's first fuzzy logic camcorder and LCD projector. In 1991, Sanyo developed the world's first HIT6 solar cell...

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4] France-based Carrefour is the second largest retailer in the world and operates globally through its 12,217 stores, including franchised stores. For the year ending December 2005, Carrefour generated revenues of US$ 94.45 billion and profits of US$ 1.78 billion. The company entered the South Korean market in 1996 and exited in 2006, by selling its operations to a local retailer E.Land.

5] US-based Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world with revenues of US$ 315.65 billion in the financial year 2005. Wal-Mart exited from South Korea by selling its 16 stores to Shinsegae for 825 billion Won after recording a loss of 9.9 billion Won in 2005. Wal-Mart had entered the Korean market in 1998.

6] Choe Sang-Hun, "Wal-Mart Selling Stores and Leaving South Korea,"The New York Times, May 23, 2006.


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