Tatung, Sampo to zero in on European market next year

Dec 30, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ben, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 30, 2003 (CENS)--Taiwan's manufacturers of home appliances, including Tatung Co. and Sampo Co., will sprint to develop the European market next year by launching brand-new products and taking actions to boost sales there.

Beginning from January next year, Tatung will mass-produce desktop personal computers at its East European plant in Czech. In addition, the company will cooperate with Dixon Co., a large-sized distributor in the Netherlands, to boost sales and delivery of flat-panel digital television sets.

Sampo said it would comprehensively ally with European distributors to boost sales there. The company will extend own brand of 'Claire' from liquid crystal display TVs to plasma TVs.

Wang Yen-yuan, head of Tatung 's monitor business unit, said Japan has the largest share of the world's digital TV market because it has launched digital broadcasting services in Tokyo and Osaka.

In Wang's eyes, Europe and the U.S. will be the world's two most promising markets for digital TVs in the next few years, but there are too many brands contending in the U.S. market. Accordingly, many domestic manufacturers of digital TVs are targeting the European market.

Tatung said it would launch a functional adjustment in forefronts in Europe. The company's Holland plant, established seven years ago, will be responsible for assembling and rear-end distribution and marketing. The plant has begun marketing LCD TVs since November and will add plasma TVs to the product lines in January next year.

The company operates a new plant in Czech, which will serve as the firm's another production base in Europe by mass-producing desktop PCs beginning from January next year.

Tatung estimated it would ship 200,000 and 50,000 LCD and plasma TVs, respectively, next year. The company has recently received orders for LCD TVs from the U.S.-based Wal-Mart and BestBuy, and will manufacture 27- and 30-inch LCD TVs for JVC of Japan on an original equipment manufacturing basis for sales in Europe.

The company boasted it would debut the advanced flat-panel TVs embedded with Microsoft platform at the CE Show, a consumer electronics exhibition, slated for January next year in the U.S. The brand-new product will take on the IPTVs launched by Microsoft.

Sampo estimated it would ship 100,000 and 200,000 LCD TVs and plasma TVs, respectively, next year. Chen Sheng-wang, vice president of the company, said over 40-inch plasma TV has more advantage in production costs over that of the plasma TVs in the short period of time. He predicted the production advantage will be reversed after 2005, when the 42-inch LCD TVs is priced at under US$2,000 per unit.

At present, the company has a production line with monthly production capacity of 10,000 LCD TVs in Kunshan of Jiangsu Province, mainland China. The firm plans to add another production line in the plant next year.

Sampo said it would launch own-brand 'Claire' plasma TVs in Europe in the middle of next year. The company will also cooperate with the sales agents and distributors of Britain, Germany, Holland, and France to market brand-new flat-panel digital TVs.
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