On December 26, 2006, Sharp announced that it plans to build a new LCD TV plant in Mexico to meet the growing demand for LCD TVs in North America. Sharp will invest about 5 billion yen in the new factory with an initial monthly output of about 100,000 units per month by the fall of 2007. The additional plant will increase the total capacity of 150,000 LCD TVs per month.
Sharp is, without a doubt, serious about the North American LCD TV market. With hefty investments in LCD manufacturing capability that can churn out 50″ and larger LCD TV panels, the brand guys will need to step up to make sure all that manufacturing capacity is used up. If history is any indication, the brand guys will succeed and Sharp will need to go elsewhere to procure more large LCD TV panels. Of course, in this case, there will only be Samsung’s joint venture with Sony, S-LCD that could supply healthy amounts of 50″ and larger LCDs. But most likely both Samsung and Sony will be fighting for every panel that S-LCD can produce. 2007 will be interesting.