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Japan's Panasonic to shut down U.S. vacuum cleaner development unit

Panasonic Corp. will end development of vacuum cleaners in the
United States at the end of March and slash some 70 employees there,
company officials said Friday, attributing the closure to a sales
slump.

The company mulled the move before the launch of the
administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has urged
companies to keep jobs in the country, a Panasonic official said.

Panasonic set up a development center for vacuum cleaners in
Kentucky in 1990. Its vacuum cleaners are manufactured in Mexico for
retail sales in the United States but sales have dropped.

The company plans to terminate the manufacturing of vacuum
cleaners at a Mexico plant and switch to production of auto equipment
from April this year, the officials said. It expects to cut dozens of
employees from the around 500-strong workforce at the plant.