Panasonic is a well known electronics company, but they have also been devoted to bicycle manufacturing since around the 50s of the last century. Mr Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Panasonic, was very passionate about bicycles and cycling and was personally sincerely devoted to build very good quality bicycles. This was achieved with the most advanced design and production facilities in the industry. Panasonic had a lot success on the US market in the 70s and 80s, but when the Yen skyrocketed in the late 80s, Panasonic saw itself forced to withdraw from the US market in 1989. In Europe Panasonic continued offering bikes untill 1995. Though being able to deliver very good quality, bicycle production in Japan had become too expensive.
From the mid 80s on Panasonic carried a line up of mountainbikes. Among this very fine examples like the Tange Prestige pro level bikes MC PRO and MC TEAM, the MC COMP e-stay and the MC PRO DH full suspension.
Panasonic is still building bikes for the Japanese market. With the Panasonic Order System program they aim at the demanding cyclist. Custom steel and butted titanium bicycles for road and off road are part of the line up. Impressive is the number of paintschemes and colours that is available.
From the early 80s on Panasonic sponsored a pro road race team. The Panasonic team had evolved from the TI Raleigh team. While Panasonic itself already carried a wide line up of bicycles with among them really fine examples through the 80s, the team still competed on bikes from established names in roadracing like Raleigh, Merckx and Colnago untill they came with an own bike for the team, the Panasonic PR-6000, in 1990.