Panasonic have released an official statement that claims they have no current plans to discontinue the Technics brand of turntables.
If you've been keeping your ears to the ground over the past month, you'll most likely have heard a few people commenting that Technics would be discontinuing their trademark 1200 and 1210 turntables. The story first emerged at the DMCWorld site, where we were informed that:
We have just heard the sad news from Panasonic (the manufacturer of Technics) that production of the world famous Technics SL-1200 and SL-1210 DJ turntables will stop at the end of February 2010. This marks the end of an era – Technics have been the industry standard for over 35 years with this turntable and the SL-1200 is synonymous with the DJ culture.The alleged statement was later repeated on sites such as Future Music and the Global Hardstyle forums, before quickly spreading across the internet.
Surprise, shock and disbelief were the common reactions to the rumours, and this was only compounded when Australia's In The Mix site issued another statement from Panasonic spokesperson Ian North on November 27th. North was reported to have said that, "It is a sad day today, but due to low sales globally in analogue turntables a decision to stop production has been made on Technics Turntables. For Australia this means we will receive our last shipment in March."
However, just three days later, North spoke to the Australian branch of Cnet, stating that his comments to In The Mix were "premature." North talked about the "decline in the analog market," before adding, "We are still supplying our dealers and we still have stock coming in." That said, in the same article, Ryan Hochkins of Australian DJ equipment retailer DJ Warehouse has commented on ongoing distribution issues in his territory. "There's always people who come in and want to buy Technics whether they're at the price they are at now or the price they were at two years ago, but it was never easy for us to get them," Hochkins states.
While all this was going on elsewhere, the DMCUpdate page where the story first originated was altered, now informing readers that: "Our latest update on the subject of the continued production of Technics turntables is that Panasonic NZ have now been advised by Panasonic Japan that there has not been an official decision made either way at this time. It may be some time before there is an official announcement from Panasonic Japan but we will keep you updated." In The Mix was also finding it difficult to get a straight answer from Panasonic, with the Australian branch of the multi-national offering a closing statement that said, "In regard to the discontinuation of Technics analogue turntables, Panasonic Corp. has made no official global announcement with regard to this matter. Panasonic Australia is unable to provide any further comment."
All this speculation and the lack of clear facts emerging led many to question whether this was all a clever stunt by Panasonic to increase demand in the short-term leading up to Christmas, with the Inverted Audio blog asking, "is this a mean viral marketing stratergy (sic) to boost global sales of their turntables?"
Well, we can now reveal that all talk of production stopping on Technics turntables has been untrue, as Panasonic have issued us with the following:
"As a major global business, Panasonic keeps all of its operations under constant review. However, there are no current plans to discontinue the Technics brand and the production of Technics turntables."We prompted the company to answer more questions regarding which particular models would be continued, but the Panasonic spokesperson made it clear that this was all that they were willing to divulge at this point in time.