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Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic, spent many years as an apprentice in bicycle shops in Japan. While known for electric products, the first successful product marketed by Panasonic was a bullet-shaped battery-powered bicycle lamp which boasted a battery life more than ten times that of other products on the market. Panasonic began to put top-of-the-line bicycles on the market after World War II. By 1971, Panasonic was a household name in bicycles and even became the supplier for the National team of Japan in the Olympics and major racing teams in the Tour de France. With the death of the company founder in 1989, Panasonic discontinued its bicycle manufacturing efforts in foreign markets. In 2019, Panasonic joined US bicycle manufacturer Kent International Inc., in announcing new electric-assist bicycles to the US eBike market.
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