Hitachi to make plasma TVs in Malaysia
HITACHI Ltd, Japan’s second-biggest plasma television maker, will spend about three billion yen (RM87.5 million) to make plasma televisions in Malaysia to meet demand in Australia and South-East Asia and cut production costs.
The company plans to make 10,000 units a month starting April, Hitachi spokesman Masayuki Takeuchi said yesterday, confirming an earlier report by the Nikkei newspaper.
The Tokyo-based company will use the facilities of its optical devices subsidiary in the country to make 42-inch televisions, eventually expanding production to 50-inch screens, he said.
Hitachi joins rivals such as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, Toshiba Corp and Sony Corp in expanding television production overseas to meet demand as consumers choose flat-panel screens to replace bulkier conventional models.
Global sales of plasma and liquid-crystal display televisions will gain eight percent this year to US$92 billion (RM322 billion), industry researcher DisplaySearch said.
The company in October said it will spend about eight billion yen (RM233.33 million) to build a flat-panel television factory in the Czech Republic. The plant will begin production this summer with a monthly output of about 80,000 units.
In September, Toshiba said it will spend about six billion yen (RM175 million) to build an LCD television factory in Poland by August 2007 and aims to triple its annual European LCD TV production to three million units in the year ending March 2010. Sony said it will spend 11 billion yen (RM320.83 million) to build a plant in Slovakia by September 2007.
Hitachi in October lowered its forecast for plasma TV shipments 20 per cent to 800,000 units for the year ending March 31 2007, citing slowing sales in the US and China.
That compares with four million units in the same period targeted by Matsushita, the world’s biggest maker of plasma televisions.