Panasonic is the brand name of what is now the Panasonic Corporation but has formely been known as, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (1935-2008) and Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works (1918-1935). Panasonic is a major Japanese multinational conglomerate company known for producing consumer electronics among other products such as automotive and avionic systems, and home renovation and construction services. Established in 1918 by Konosuke Matsushita, the company was originally a lightbulb socket manufacturer. However, Matsushita began branching out, producing a range of products during the 1920s and into the Second World War.
Following the Second World War, Panasonic became one of the major contributors to the post-war boom in Japan. In 1961, the company began producing television sets for the US market, and in 1979 also began expanding the brand into Europe. Competing with the rival company, Sony, Panasonic acquired the American media company, MCA Inc. in 1990 in an attempt to be a leader in the film industry. However, due to the volatilitty of this industry, Panasonic sold 80% of MCA in 1995.
Although Panasonic was often the main brand name for the company, especially when trading overseas, the company still continued to use the brand names of Matsushita and National. However, in 2008, they stopped using these additional brand names.
In 2020, it was announced that the company would be restructuring which would be completed in 2022. With this restructuring, the company plans to become a holding company with a new name, Panasonic Holdings Corporation, with some wholly owned subsidiaries.