Panasonic Increases Plasma Panel Output in China

Company is also considering changing some its Amagasaki plant production lines to solar cell manufacturing

To meet growing demand for flatscreen televisions in China, Panasonic said on August 20 that it will boost its plasma panel production in Shanghai.

The Chinese unit, Panasonic Plasma Display (Shanghai) Ltd (PPDS), produces 25,000 42-inch panels a month and will start up a new plant in April 2012 with a monthly capacity for 120,000 42-inch panels. PPDS was established in 2001 by Panasonic and the city of Shanghai.

Panasonic also said that it will move plasma panel production equipment from its plant in Amagasaki, western Japan, to help expand the Shanghai unit.

The expansion of PPDS will give Panasonic "a stronger structure to meet the growing demand in China" and enable the firm to "improve the group-wide cost competitiveness" in the global flatscreen TV market, the company said.

Panasonic forecast the market to exceed 240 million sets in 2012 with China having the biggest share of more than 50 million sets.

The Osaka-based company is considering changing some of the Amagasaki plant production lines to solar cell manufacturing, Kyodo news agency said, citing company sources.

The Shanghai plant will take on production of 3-D TV panels from 2012 in the wake of the company's launch of a 50-inch 3-D TV in China earlier this month, Kyodo said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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