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Title: Funai  
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Subject: Compact Video Cassette, Magnavox, Orion Electric, Electronics industry in Japan, Philips
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Funai Electric Company, Limited (船井電機株式会社 Funai Denki Kabushiki Kaisha) is a Japanese consumer electronics company headquartered in Daitō, Osaka, Japan. Its United States-based subsidiary Funai Corporation, Inc., based in Torrance, California, markets Funai-licensed brands including Sylvania, Emerson Radio, Magnavox, Philips, and Symphonic.

Funai is the main supplier of electronics to Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores, with production quantities easily topping 2 million flat-panel televisions during the summertime per year for Black Friday sale, which all 2 million units easily sold-out within few minutes. Funai is the OEM providing assembled televisions and video players/recorders to major corporations such as Sharp, Toshiba, Denon, and others. Funai also manufactures printers for Dell and Lexmark.


Funai was founded by Tetsuro Funai, the son of a sewing machine manufacturer. During the 1950s before the company was formed, Funai produced sewing machines and was one of the first Japanese makers to enter the United States retail market. Then, the introduction of transistor technology had begun to change the face of the electronics market. The Funai company was formed, Tetsuro Funai became CEO for 47 years and a self-made billionaire, and the first actual products produced were the transistor radios.

In 1980, Funai launched a sales and manufacturing subsidiary in Germany. Funai also developed the Compact Video Cassette (CVC) format in the same year, a joint development with Technicolor, trying to compete with VHS and Betamax. Sales were poor and not well-received, and the CVC format was abandoned a few years later.

Funai began to see rising sales of the VHS format, so in 1984, Funai released its first VHS video cassette player (VP-1000) for the worldwide market, while ordering all transport mechanisms from Shintom for quick and efficient production. Funai always believed that lower competitive prices and high production quantities; without sacrificing quality; were their biggest keys to success. By the late 1980s, Funai quickly became the largest 2-head monaural VHS video cassette recorder (VCR) manufacturer in Japan.

In 1991, a U.S. sales subsidiary was established in New Jersey, and it began to sell cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions. In 1992, Funai canceled the contract from Shintom due to rising cost of its chassis mechanism and the expensive Japanese labor, and that's when its profits began to skyrocket. Funai developed a new, permanent strategy in 1993 to cut costs in production by up to 80%, by opening two new state-of-the-art factories in China, which transferred all VHS VCRs production from Japan. Funai became the first VHS VCR manufacturer to sell a new VCR below $100 for the North American Market, and VCR sales spiked. Shortly, Tetsuro Funai, the founder, became Japan's very first billionaire electronic CEO. Later, the DVD technology was formed, and by 2001, Funai sold its first DVD player for less than $100. By then, Funai's U.S. subsidiary had relocated to Torrance, California. Today, Funai is one of the world's largest producer of DVD players, and is now one of the major suppliers of electronics to Wal-Mart on Black Friday day.

Funai Headquarters in Daitō

In 2008, CEO and founder Tetsuro Funai retired and stepped down from CEO to become chairman. Philips signed a seven-year contract with Funai to license, sell, and distribute Philips- and Magnavox-branded televisions in North America.[1] In 2013, Funai acquired the option to buy the rest of Philips' consumer electronics operations and a license to globally market Philips branded consumer electronics.[2] But that purchase was terminated by Philips because of what Philips saw as breach of contract.[3]


Funai has made inkjet hardware for Lexmark International, Inc since 1997.[4] In August 2012, Lexmark announced that it would be ceasing production of its inkjet printer line.[5][6][7] In April 2013, Funai announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire Lexmark's inkjet-related technology and assets for approximately $100 million (approximately ¥ 9.5 billion).[4]

Upon closing of the transaction, Funai will acquire more than 1,500 inkjet patents, Lexmark's inkjet-related research and development assets and tools, all outstanding shares and the manufacturing facility of Lexmark International (Philippines), Inc., and other inkjet-related technologies and assets. Through this transaction, Funai will acquire the capabilities to develop, manufacture and sell inkjet hardware as well as inkjet supplies. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close within the first half of 2013.[8]

See also

  • TP Vision acquired Philips branded TVs in some countries


  1. ^ Lawler, Richard (April 8, 2008). "Philips handing over North American TV manufacturing to Funai".  
  2. ^ "Notice of Acquisition of Lifestyle Entertainment Businesses of PHILIPS" (html) (Press release). Funai Electric Co., Ltd. January 29, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Funai acquiring Lexmark’sinkjet‐related technology and assets" (PDF). Press Information (Press release). April 2, 2013: 1. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Lexmark announces restructuring". Lexmark. August 28, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Lexmark to exit inkjet printer market". August 28, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Lexmark announces restructuring". Aurturyjgust 28, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Funai acquiring Lexmark's inkjet-related technology and assets". April 1, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 

External links

  • Funai Global
  • Funai Corporation USA
  • Funai Business Unit Germany u;oi;oi;jn././.
  • About Us-Funai Electric Co., Ltd.
  • Funai Electric Company, Limited-Company profile
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