Panasonic and Sanyo Massage Chair News!
I had been hearing rumors for a few weeks that Sanyo massage chairs were being discontinued. I knew that Panasonic had acquired Sanyo a while back, but until now I had no idea how that would affect the Sanyo massage chair line, i.e. the Sanyo 7700 and 8700 models.
Well, I called my Panasonic and Sanyo distributor and asked for an update on what was going on. This is the long and short of what he told me...
1. The Sanyo line of massage chairs was most likely going to be discontinued, if it hasn't already been. I know that the Sanyo 8700 is not available to me at the present time and that the Sanyo 7700 is out of stock...and my distributor has no idea when that model will be in stock, and
2. The full line of Panasonic massage chairs, including the Panasonic 30007 and the new ma70, are all now being manufactured in China. The 30007 and ma70 had previously been manufactured in Japan, but now it is all being done in China. As a matter of fact, I am told that the Panasonic manufacturing plant in Japan has been shut down altogether.
I have also been told that this change in manufacturing locale is not limited to massage chairs but to many Panasonic products that were heretofore being manufactured in Japan.
I suspect that the reason for this is the strength of the Japanese Yen and the weakness of he USD. I have discussed in a previous blog post that the Inada chairs went significantly up in price because of that very reason...but they continue to manufacture in Japan.
So, I suspect that rather than increase the price of their massage chairs in the US, Panasonic decided to move their manufacturing to China, where the cost of production is apparently much lower.
Thus, the only massage chairs that are still manufactured in Japan are the Inada models.
We will probably be dropping the Sanyo models on our website soon. If either of the two models survive, I will probably then add it to the Panasonic category page since they are now one-in-the-same company.
New Massage Chair Line for Massage-Chair-Relief.com
We will begin carrying the Infinite Therapeutics line of massage chairs. I have discussed my meeting with Kirk Jennings, IT's sales manager, in one of my biweekly Massage Chair Industry Update videos (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxpzfv5ENts&context=C40cdaa5ADvjVQa1PpcFOZxIfRxt2mzAgw7OEz0A9W7-YvRwSmBcc=). Kirk came to my showroom last week and we further discussed his line. Currently, they carry the IT-9800, which is a Taiwanese-made massage chair. It is made by the same manufacturing plant as the old Neox massage chair, which we used to see at all the local trade shows. A lovely, leather-upholstered chair that has an inversion feature and a side-to-side "swaying-like" calf massaging ottoman. Nice chair.
They also have the IT-7800, which is a Chinese-made model with a very reasonable price point. I will be having these models put up in the next couple of weeks or so. I understand they will also be coming out with a new model to add to their line, which allegedly will be a Sogno-lookalike model, which all the chinese plants seem to be coming out with. Here is their website: www.infinitetherapeutics.com. You can go there to learn more about their chairs.
Hope this info assists you in your massage chair shopping experience.
Dr. Alan Weidner