Sanyo is a major electronics company that exists under the Panasonic Corporation umbrella. The company announced that it would become a subsidiary of Panasonic on November 2, 2008, when the two companies agreed on the major points of a proposed buyout. Sanyo was founded when Toshio Lue, Konosuke Matsushita's (Panasonic founder) brother-in-law, was lent an unused Matsushita plant in 1947. The plant was used to manufacture bicycle generator lamps. Sanyo, whose name means three oceans, produced Japan's first plastic radio in 1952 and Japan's first pulsating washing machine two years later. Sanyo currently has over 300 offices worldwide, employs over 11,000 employees, and is a member of the Fortune 500.
Sanyo's products include solar power generating systems, projectors, digital cameras, televisions, digital media audio, Hi-Fi systems, portable audio, kitchen appliances, personal care products, fans, air coolers and purifiers, air conditioners, food equipment, biomedical and medical equipment, and batteries. The company sponsors the Penrith Panthers rugby team in Australia's national league, and owns the Sanyo Wild Knights (Japanese rugby union team). Sanyo has focused on solar energy and electric-powered vehicle batteries in recent years. The company has two solar plants, and provides nickel metal hydride batteries to Honda, Ford, and Volkswagen.
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