The first VCR machine was introduced 40 years ago and the last machine will be made this month. The only remaining manufacturer of VCRs, Funai, has announced that it will end production. 750,000 VCRs were produced last year.
A strong 40-year run
The VHS cassette conquered the mass market before it was superseded by the DVD disc, and more recently Blu-ray that has never achieved the same sales success as its predecessors. During this period, VHS tapes have had a strong 40-year run.
The VHS standard was developed Victor Company of Japan (JVC) but the company halted production years ago. Japan’s Funai Electric is the only known remaining manufacturer and they have announced that their last VCR will be produced by July 31, 2016. Sales are declining and Funai can no longer obtain the parts.
Last year, Funai produced 750,000 VCR machines, a number that may surprise most of us. Funai’s VCRs have been sold in several regions under the Sanyo brand. Funai produced 15 million VCRs annually at its peak.
Even though this is the end of VCRs, other companies will likely continue to produce VHS tapes. For example, Sony discontinued Betamax players in 2002 but the Betamax tapes continued to be in production until November 2015.