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South Korean Digital TV Production Going Overseas
Jul 14, 2003
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The relocation of South Korea's digital TV production base to foreign shores has been expeditious, due largely to rising logistics and manpower costs, according to industry sources.

Korea's major electronics makers have stepped up efforts to increase overseas production of LCD, PDP, and projection TVs, or transform assembly lines for conventional color TVs into those for luxury TVs.

Samsung Electronics Co. started production of digital TVs in Indonesia last month after shifting to digital TV production in Mexico, Spain, and China last year.

Samsung also moved all of its Spanish-based assembly lines for conventional cathode-ray tubes to Hungary and began to use the Spanish plant as a European outpost for manufacturing and exporting LCD and PDP TVs.

The company also plans to turn its 13 TV production plants around the world into digital TV workshops, while starting to manufacture digital TVs in Hungary and Slovakia in time with the introduction of digital TV broadcasting in Europe. It will also increase production capacity for PDP TVs and projection TVs in China and Indonesia.

LG Electronics Inc., which has TV plants in China, Mexico, Britain, and Brazil, has increased overseas production of digital TVs to 40 percent from 25 percent this year. The company started production of PDP TVs in Britain in March after making similar moves in Mexico in November last year and in China in July 2001.

LG plans to finish construction of a PDP module plant with an annual capacity of 240,000 units in Nanjing, China, by the end of October. It will also transform its plant in Poland into a production base for digital TVs with an annual capacity of 200,000 sets.

Daewoo Electronics Corp. plans to turn TV plants in Poland and Mexico into production bases for digital TVs within the year. The firm intends to raise production capacity in the two countries to 10 percent by the end of this year, according to company officials.

Currently, Daewoo manufactures digital TVs in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province.

"Although digital TVs are high-valued products, overseas production and assembly can save manpower costs and bring tariff benefits," an industry observer said. "With the rapid decline of conventional color TVs, most overseas TV production plants will become digital TV plants in the next few years." (Asia Pulse)

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