Photo Credit: Wales Online
Europe is one of the few continents where computers are still manufactured. The Welsh city of Cardiff, where the Panasonic Connect manufacturing is located, is one of these select few locales. We had the opportunity to look inside the plant.
Modern laptops are almost usually produced in an Asian nation, whether it is China, India, Japan, Taiwan, or Vietnam. Europe’s laptop manufacturing industry has virtually disappeared off the map. In 2018, Fujitsu closed its final notable facility in the German city of Augsburg. The last European laptop manufacturing was then closing, according to German media. However, Europe still has a laptop factory. It is owned by Panasonic and is situated in Cardiff, Wales.
Photo Credit: Business In the News
Panasonic is not a significant PC producer. This OEM focuses on the Japanese market as well as robust PCs for institutional clients, particularly large businesses and the military. Current variants cost at least €2,000 in Europe, including the Panasonic Toughbook 55. Panasonic is no longer important in the larger laptop industry due to its expensive price and utilitarian design.
The concentration on this exclusive, pricey segment of the market also distinguishes Panasonic, even if it probably won’t matter to the ordinary laptop consumer outside of Japan. One benefit is that Panasonic still has a facility in Europe.
However, it must be noted that Panasonic does not finish assembling the Toughbooks in Europe. In facilities in Japan and Taiwan, Asia is where the majority of the manufacturing is done. The Toughbooks are created and completed there to a 75 percent level. The final 25% of machines intended for the European market are handled in Cardiff. However, given that the laptops are customized to the needs of the clients, those 25% are crucial. Not only are Panasonic Toughbooks extremely durable, but they are also modular. Customers can choose from a variety of customisation options as a result.
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There are four models in the Toughbook portfolio at the moment: Both the Panasonic Toughbook 40 and the Panasonic Toughbook 55 are standard clamshell laptops that can be purchased from Amazon for $2,495; the Toughbook 40 is “fully rugged” while the Toughbook 55 is “semi rugged.” In addition to that, there are the 2-in-1 tablets Toughbook 33 and G2 with detachable keyboard docks. Panasonic also creates “Let’s Note” laptops for the Japanese market; these laptops are solely available there. The Panasonic Let’s Note is positioned as a “business rugged” device, making it comparable to laptops from Lenovo, Dell, and HP.