Manufacturing News

Foxconn teams with Sony to build world's largest LCD TV plant in China

Taiwan's Foxconn Group, manufacturer of the Apple iPhone and iPad, and Sony will establish a joint-venture liquid-crystal-display (LCD) TV plant with an annual production capacity of 30 million units and workforce of 50,000 staff initially, making it the largest such facility around the world, in Yantai City, Shandong Province in northern China, according to a report by the China-based National Business Daily.

The city government has confirmed the news that Foxconn is proposing an expansion of its LCD television production site, but it still needs the approval of top client Sony Corp.

The Economic Observer News reported Wednesday that the plant will be located at an industrial park developed by Foxconn in 2004. The park mainly produces handsets, PCs, molds and a small volume of LCD TVs. It is currently Foxconn's second-largest production base in China next to its facility in Shenzhen, southern China, the report noted.

The industrial park saw its annual production value grow from 10 billion RMB in 2006 to 97 billion RMB, which is equal to 14.3 billion U.S. dollars, including 9.08 billion U.S. dollars for exports. In 2010, the report pointed out, adding the production of LCD TVs will add an estimated 90 billion RMB to the park's annual production value.

Yantai is geographically close to Japan, giving it a shipping advantage to clients in Japan. The plant is also expected to land orders from China-based TV vendors, such as Haier and Hisense, the report noted.

Foxconn, which also operates through Hong Kong-listed Foxconn International Holdings Ltd , is already one of the biggest private-sector employers in China. Last October, the government of Chengdu city in western China said Foxconn would invest 2 billion U.S. dollars in a new plant there.

Targeting a return to profitability for its television business, Sony has been slashing costs by closing factories and selling plants in Tijuana, Mexico and Nitra, Slovakia to Foxconn.

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