Sony to Close Pittsburgh Technology Center: Last US TV Factory

A drawing of the Pittsburgh Technology Center from a while back…

Sony‘s last US TV factory, The Pittsburgh Technology Center, is located in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. It opened in 1990 and manufactured RPTVs (Rear Projection TV) and when the market shifted dramatically to LCD TVs, the Center shifted to manufacturing those and now produces 46″ and 52″ LCD TVs. The factory is part of a planned closure of 5 or 6 factories worldwide. The Westmoreland factory employs 560 people.

On December 9, 2008, Sony announced that it will be closing about 5 to 6 factories (or 10% of 57 factories) worldwide and layoff about 8,000 full-time employees and another 8,000 temporary workers. Sony, like all other TV brands, is dealing with a global slowdown of demand for TVs. The Westmoreland plant will cease manufacturing TVs by February 2009 and Sony’s Baja, Mexico-based TV plant will be supplying the US with Sony-branded TVs. Sony plans to completely shutdown and close the plant by ending TV and Blu-ray repair and logistics operations by March 2010.

I do not know the overall health of US-based manufacturing of electronic goods, but my gut feeling is that it isn’t too healthy. Sony’s planned closure of The Pittsburgh Technology Center is significant in that it is Sony’s last US TV factory. For Sony, one of the most well-known TV brands, to admit that manufacturing TVs in the US is just not competitive says something and something must be done. Sure we have a thriving service sector in the US but I think there needs to be a healthy manufacturing base as well. I personally would pay a bit more for a Made in USA Sony 46″ or 52″ LCD TV. I bet those will become collector’s items.

Source: PC World

[tags]Sony, The Pittsburgh Technology Center, 46″, 52″, 46″ LCD TV, 52″ LCD TV[/tags]

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