Manufacturing functions to be shifted to Kuala Lumpur TV factory

Sony will consolidate its two factories in Malaysia by the end of September next year in a move to streamline production, Nikkei has learned.

The Japanese electronics-to-entertainment conglomerate will close its audio product factory located in the Malaysian state of Penang and transfer its manufacturing functions to a base near the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur. About 3,600 workers at the Penang factory will be affected. Many are likely to be laid off, while some could be transferred to other factories.

Sony’s Penang plant is the main production site for audio products like headphones and home audio equipment. The company plans to stop operations by the end of September 2021 and close the facility by the end of March 2022. The manufacturing functions will be transferred to its factory in Kuala Lumpur, which is Sony’s main one for manufacturing TVs.

Both plants have been in operation since 1988. The move comes amid Sony’s efforts to review its production of electronic devices such as audio equipment.

The company also plans to shut down its TV and audio factory in Brazil next year, which has been in operation since its establishment in 1984 as Sony’s only manufacturing facility in the country.

Meanwhile, Sony expects lackluster performance in its electronic business for the current fiscal year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The company is forecasting a 23% decrease in operating profit for the year ending March 2021 to 67 billion yen ($644 million).