Matsushita to Build Plant in China
Jul 20, 2005
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Japanese electric giant Matsushita said it will continue to increase its investments and market penetration in China. With an initial investment of 10 billion yen (approx. U.S. $89.83 million), the company launched a giant project in Suzhou of East China's Jiangsu Province to produce semi-conductor products catering to meet surging market demand.

The manufacturing base will become the third of its kind, following Matsushita's two other counterparts in its home market. The launch of the plant will also add demand for R&D capabilities in China, said Zhang Zhongwen, vice-chairman of Matsushita China. The number of R&D employees could jump to 10,000 over the next 2 to 3 years. That's compared with the current 2,000-plus employees in five of its R&D facilities in China.

Mr. Zhang said that the Suzhou plant would begin production at the end of the year as a step to increase supply to the growing Chinese market. But that is only the first phase, since plans call for the plant to be developed by as much as 10 times within the next two to 3 years. It could become Asia's largest manufacturing base of its kind, said Mr. Zhang.

As another move to boost sales in China, the company will move on to introduce its latest series of products into to China market, where the firm plans to gain 70 billion yuan (approx. $8.46 billion) in revenue in China this year.

The eighth generation of VIERA-branded plasma display panel flat display products, representing its latest technology in the flat display arena, will be available to the market later this month, making China one of the first overseas markets to access the product.

"Our target is to gain 30 percent of the market share," said Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic AVC Networks Company, representing a grand leap from just 19 percent of the market in 2004. That share made Matsushita the leading player among all the Japanese players in China, gaining a combined 16 percent of the market, while all the Chinese players controlled 36 percent and South Korean brands 22 percent. (China View)

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