Pioneer Progress Report About Vision 2005 Includes Announcement of Global Launch of Recordable DVD|CD Computer Drive

Pioneer Corporation (NYSE:PIO) today provided a progress report about its Vision 2005 initiatives and announced the global launch of its recordable DVD/CD computer drive - one of the most important products in the Company's history. The DVR-103 computer drive, scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2001, fills an important void in the market and is in line with Pioneer's vision to be the leading company in the DVD business.

President Kaneo Ito noted the accomplishments from the first phase of Vision 2005 as well as expected results from phase two initiatives, including:

  • A global production strategy expected to reduce production costs by as much as 20 percent;
  • Business process reengineering designed to achieve a two to three percent annual savings in SG&A;
  • A renewed focus on core business domains chosen for their ability to provide sustained and profitable growth.

Pioneer is focused on four key business domains including DVD, display technologies, Digital Network Entertainment and components. These digital technologies are radically transforming the landscape of the electronics industry as they quickly replace analog VCRs, CD-ROM drives and other older technologies. By eliminating the declining product categories from its portfolio, Pioneer has limited its risk and is poised for unlimited growth potential. Digital product segments such as DVD players and recorders, DVD-ROM drives, plasma displays, Organic ELs, car navigation systems and cable/satellite set-top boxes are expected to generate $1.9 billion or 30 percent of Pioneer's global revenue this year.

Pioneer's DVR-103 drive, the world's first combination recordable DVD/CD drive for computer use, will begin shipping to the OEM market in the first quarter of 2001. The third-generation drive reads and writes multiple recordable formats, including DVD-R, CD-R and CD-RW, and offers up to 4.7GB of storage capacity per DVD side. In addition, the new drive is capable of recording DVD-R discs at twice the normal speed (2X) - another industry first.

The DVR-103 drive was designed to be compatible with DVD video players, a market in which Pioneer currently has a 15 percent unit share and nearly 20 percent dollar share globally. The Company's product mix in the DVD player category is stronger in the value-added, step-up models, making it a very profitable business.

Two and one half years into its Vision 2005 initiatives, Pioneer can see the fruit of its efforts. When announcing its second quarter earnings, the Company announced an increase in its fiscal year earnings projections. Consolidated revenue is expected to grow by 5.5 percent to 650 billion yen or $6.2 billion. Operating income is projected to increase to 31 billion yen, or $295 million, which is a 31 percent increase from last year. Accordingly, net income will jump 38 percent to 18 billion yen, or $170 million.

Pioneer Corporation is a leader in optical disc technology and a preeminent manufacturer of high-performance audio, video and computer equipment for the home, car and industrial markets. Its Vision 2005 business plan focuses on four core business domains including DVD, display technologies, Digital Network Entertainment and components. Founded in 1938 in Tokyo, Pioneer Corporation's U.S. headquarters is located in Long Beach, Calif. The Company employs more than 29,000 people worldwide with total annual revenue in excess of $5.8 billion (for the year ended March 31, 2000, calculated at the rate of Y106=U.S.$1.00.) Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PIO and its Web address is for Pioneer's world headquarters in Tokyo, or for American headquarters.

Forward Looking Statement Except for historical information contained herein, the statements made in this release with respect to Pioneer's plans, strategies, beliefs and other prospective matters are forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainty. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions in the Company's markets, particularly levels of consumer spending; exchange rates between the yen and other currencies, such as the U.S. dollar and the euro, in which the Company makes significant sales; continued competitive pricing pressures in the marketplace; the effect that competitive factors, and the Company's reaction to them, may have on the buying decisions of consumers and business customers with respect to the Company's products; and the Company's ability to gain acceptance of its products, which are offered in highly competitive markets characterized by continual new product introductions, rapid developments in technology, and subjective and changing consumer and other customer preferences.