As Hitachi continues to streamline operations, we get word that it is pulling out of the consumer electronics and whitegoods market in Australia. Announced over the weekend, Hitachi will no longer sell their appliances or flat-panel TVs, camcorders, and other CE-class goods in the land down under. ACs, industrial, and electronic goods will still be available. The move brings along 40 job cuts from its Sydney HQ. Hitachi claims that the Australian market is just too small and too competitive to warrant the effort. A sentiment backed by Sharp Australia's deputy managing director, Denis Kerr, who claims that Australia is under, "a siege mentality that has forced pricing to ridiculous levels that cannot be sustained." He surmises that if the trend continues, "Brand names are going to withdraw from the market place.'' Of course, all this leaves us wondering... who's next?

[Thanks, Dzx]

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