Total preference figures for premium Panasonic sound system outpace Bose, Harman Kardon, and Mark Levinson systems by nearly nine to one

DETROIT, March 22, 2004 - According to the final survey results of the ELS Surround Sound Challenge compiled by MORPACE International Research, Panasonic's revolutionary new discrete, six -channel DVD -Audio premium sound system, ELS Surround, was the overwhelming favorite of the nearly 1,300 SAE show attendees who participated in the four -day, side -by -side competition against other premium sound systems conducted at the recently concluded 2004 SAE World Congress. The competition took place inside the Panasonic booth on the show floor at Detroit's Cobo Convention Center.

A total of 1,290 people participated in the event over the course of the show, comparing ELS Surround in the 2004 Acura TL against the Bose system in the Cadillac CTS; the Mark Levinson system in the Lexus LS 430; and the Harman Kardon Logic 7 system in the Mercedes E -320. Participants cycled through the vehicles, comparing the sound qualities of identical musical selections in each vehicle, then revealed their preferences by answering a series of questions from MORPACE representatives. According to the four -day cumulative numbers from MORPACE, total preference of ELS Surround over the competing premium systems breaks down as follows:

* ELS Surround vs. Bose (Cadillac CTS): 360 of 400 participants preferred ELS (89.8%)

* ELS Surround vs. Mark Levinson (Lexus LS 430): 373 of 418 participants preferred ELS (89.2%)

* ELS Surround vs. Harman Kardon (Mercedes E -320): 379 of 472 participants preferred ELS (80.3%)

The high -resolution ELS Surround system is the first DVD -Audio system in a vehicle to provide six independent and discrete channels of sound, instead of the usual two found in stereo systems. Moreover, it is the only system that is personally tuned for the vehicle by five -time Grammy winning producer Elliot Scheiner, providing vehicle occupants with the opportunity to fully experience the true in -studio surround sound as mixed by Mr. Scheiner, as opposed to the computer -simulated mix found in other premium automotive sound systems. ELS Surround allows separate instruments and voices to be recorded and played over each of the six channels. The system incorporates speakers in the right and left front, right and left back, and central dashboard, as well as a sub -woofer.

Based in Southfield, Michigan, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey -based Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) of Osaka, Japan _ one of the world's leading developers and producers of innovative digital and other electronic products for consumer, business and industrial use. Additional information on Matsushita Electric Corporation of America and Panasonic is available at

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