National was a brand used by
Panasonic Corporation to sell
home appliances, personal appliances, and industrial appliances and
was the first name used by Konosuke
Matsushita's electric firm to sell his battery-powered bicycle
lamps, hoping that they would be a product used by all of Japan, hence the
It was arguably the first well-known brand
of Japanese electronics.
National was formerly the premier brand on most Matsushita
products, including audio and video and was often combined as
"National Panasonic" after the worldwide success of the Panasonic
in Europe, and after 1989 in Australia & New Zealand, Matsushita ceased the usage of "National", and
sold audiovisual products exclusively under the Panasonic and Technics nameplates. Perhaps due to
trademark issues, Matsushita never officially used the National
name in the United
States, except for early imported products, but rice
cookers bearing the National name, imported from Japan, can be
found at many ethnic Asian markets in the United States.
National is well-known throughout Asia
reputable manufacturer of domestic appliances, such as rice cookers
and electric fans. In 2004, the "National" brand was gradually
phased out in Asia
, the last market it was used
in, with most products being rebadged under the "Panasonic" brand
due to trademark restrictions with other companies worldwide
containing "National" in their name and Matsushita's desire to
unify their businesses under the Panasonic name for greater
Due to its
historical significance and recognition in Matsushita's native
Japan, non-audiovisual Matsushita products (mostly
home appliances or White goods) were branded "National" until
As of October 1, 2008, Matsushita changed
its company name to Panasonic Corporation. Non-audiovisual products
used be branded "National" in Japan are currently marketed under
the "Panasonic" brand.
nor National Car
are related to Panasonic or the "National" brand.
bicycles were imported into the United
States under the Panasonic
label. The brand was
known for producing high quality cycles at a relatively low price,
as the result of a very high degree of factory automation
and a resultingly low labor force with
attendant savings in salaries and benefits. One of their models
featured the unusual Shimano front freewheel
- In 1960, National launched a tokusatsu
series called National Kid, in a clear
merchandising effort. The series wasn't popular in its home market,
but attained cult status in Brazil.
- In 1976, the Swedish band ABBA shot some
ads promoting National. They were broadcast in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
- In the 1980s a promotion was made in Japan for National TV,
using the cat "Chatran" also known as "Milo" on the Columbia Pictures movie release "The Adventures Of Milo &
Otis" . The commercial features some segments of the movie,
then shows "Chatran"/"Milo" with a human companion.