Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pentax DSLR production aiming for 1 million units by 2009

(Updated May May 23rd, *see new annotation at bottom) PMA Newsline is carrying reports from PEN News Weekly that state that Pentax announced at a press conference in Japan (that's a mouthful of attribution) that its operating profit is up 89% and that it will be investing in Imaging, Life-Care and Optical Component business if present business strategies stay the course. But surprisingly, there was a enthusiastic bit of talk about upcoming lenses and camera systems, and we're talking big numbers. 25 new lenses to be released in the next 2 years, and a goal to ship over 1 million DSLR bodies.

From the news clipping: "Simultaneously at the press conference, the company announced its Pentax Value Up Plan, a mid-range management strategy to enhance its corporate value by 2009/2010. The company plans to cast off from its conventional "expansion and rapid growth" strategy, shifting to the management policy to "attach importance on profitability," "concentrate on core business lines utilizing its optical/precision technologies," and aim at "transparent and open management attitude," for enhancing its corporate value to the satisfaction of stakeholders, reports PEN News Weekly.

A Pentax executive said at the press conference the company plans to focus on DSLR cameras by bolstering its DSLR line of entry-level, middle-class and high-end models, and it plans to have an annual total production of 1 million units by 2009. The company also plans to introduce 10 new interchangeable lenses this year and about 25 new lenses by 2009."

Also, the Pentax CEO has apparently said at this news conference that rumors of the death of the 645D have been greatly exaggerated... it looks like the camera might still see the light of day. Hopefully we'll be hearing more about this soon.

*Because the Hoya plans for acquisition of Pentax depends on shareholder votes and the leadership from an interim board of directors that has yet to be established (likely in June, and hopefully with CEO Watanuki playing a decisive role), it's still unclear what corporate support Pentax's camera division has for these plans until Pentax makes a formal announcement.

Link: PMA Photomartketing News May 22, 2007 (scroll down)

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