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Sampo, FIC to Enter European Market
Nov 22, 2005
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Sampo Corp., a Taiwan-based appliance maker, announced a strategic partnership with business appliance maker First International Computer Co. (FIC) to enter the European appliance market.

Sampo will outsource the production of its 35-inch to 47-inch LCD TVs, as well as 42-inch and 50-inch plasma TVs, to FIC's plants in the Czech Republic, Eric Chen, Sampo chairman, said.

As companies need to pay a 14-percent levy when importing TVs to Europe, the average production cost will be reduced by more than 10 percent by utilizing FIC's production facilities in the Czech Republic. FIC set up its first sales office in the Czech Republic in 1991 and has a PC production of more than 100,000 a month.

The collaboration with Sampo will mark FIC's first large-scale production of LCD and plasma TVs for a Taiwanese company, with initial output estimated to be 10,000 units a month, said Bjorn Tsai, vice president of FIC's advanced platforms group.

According to Peter Chen, vice president of Sampo's electronic devices business unit, the company wants to push its branded electronics products to the same level as those of LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. He added that Sampo's overseas business is set to increase during the next 3 years to double the level of its domestic business, as a result of active market exploration in the U.S., Europe, India, and the Middle East.

Sampo set up a joint sales company in March with German consumer-electronics firm G-Hanz, which has comprehensive sales channels in Sampo's targeted markets. Based in Munich, the venture will sell LCD TVs, plasma TVs, air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators under the co-branded "G-Hanz SAMPO" name in these markets, he said. (Taipei Times)

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