The company that became the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company Limited and later Panasonic was formed by Matsushita Konosuke in 1918 in Osaka.
If you click here you can read the whole Matsushita Konosuke story
Matsushita San started with a unique business philosophy. It is based on the premise that any business is indebted to society because it uses society's resources - people, capital, real estate and many other services. Therefore, he maintains, the primary role of a business should be to serve society in return for having had the use of society's resources.
In 1927 the company first used the National brand for the first time. This brand was later used along side the Panasonic name for air conditioners.
In 1936 the company launched its first desk fan with automatic oscillation.
Click here for the Iue Toshio story
In 1947 Iue Toshio, Matsushita Sans brother in law and close colleague, founded Sanyo Electric Company Limited. Starting in an unused Matsushita plant in Houjo, the company grew to be a major international corporation in its own right. In fact the name Sanyo reflects Iue Sans ambitions as it means 'Three Oceans', reflecting his intention to sell across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. In 2009 the companies were united when Panasonic purchased a majority share in Sanyo and the company is now a subsidiary of Panasonic.
1955 saw the first appearance of the PanaSonic name for audio equipment and in 1965 this was joined by the Technics brand. The Panasonic brand was first used in the USA in 1961 and Europe in 1979. The name comprises of the words PAN and SONIC and the meaning of them joined together is 'bringing the sound our company makes to the world'
In 1958 the company launched the first residential air conditioner sold for domestic installation. Sales in the first year were a mere 1,100 units.
In 1973 the company launched its first Air to Water heat pump in Japan to provide low energy consumption hot water.
In 1975 Panasonic became the first Japanese air conditioner manufacturer to launch in Europe
During the 1990s Panasonic progressively developed their RAC room air conditioning and LRAC commercial products with cutting edge technology such as fault diagnostics and sophisticated controls, adding inverter technology early on. Panasonic also launched their first generation VRF product, widely praised for its flexibility and advanced design.
At the end of 1999, Panasonic announced plans to develop products together with Daikin Industries to 'focus on the research and development of environmentally friendly technologies'.
By 2003 Panasonics European air conditioning product line up was entirely non ozone depleting and optimised for energy efficiency.
In 2008, after consultation with the Matsushita family, the company announced a name change to Panasonic Corporation. It also announced that it was in merger talks with Sanyo.
Also in 2008 Panasonic launched its ground breaking Etherea room air conditioners. A fresh new look and high end air cleaning and control technology with motion, occupancy and sunlight sensors to adapt the operation of the unit to changing conditions this was a major step forward in room air conditioner design.
In 2010 Panasonic Air Conditioning became Panasonic Heating and Cooling Systems with the launch of the Aquarea air to water system. Using state of the art technology Aquarea produces hot water for domestic hot water and heating purposes by using low grade heat from the air outside, even down to -20C and lower.
In response to this new opportunity Medal Aircon launched Medal Heating and were the first company in the UK to purchase an Aquarea system.
In 2012 the Panasonic and Sanyo heating and cooling ranges were combined under the Panasonic name. A new range of PACi, series 6 ECOi and ECOG products were launched as Panasonic products.
In 2014 Panasonic have added the option for using the popular Econavi occupancy sensor function from the Etherea to the PACi, ECOi and ECOG commercial systems, along with a new multifunction controller.
As Panasonic head toward their centenary in 2018 their new corporate slogan A better life, a better world encapsulates their desire to continue the same corporate philosophy espoused by Matsushita San right at the beginning.
Youth is youngness at heart
Youth is eternal for those
Who are full of faith and hope
And greet the challenges of each new day
With courage and confidence
Lines from Matsushita Konosuke 1894-1989