AU Optronics (AUO) is the largest LCD manufacturer in Taiwan and one of the largest in the world. Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) is the second largest Taiwan-based LCD manufacturer. It has been reported by DigiTimes that AUO and CMO’s G7.5 TFT LCD fabrication plants are running at full speed. But.
South Korea’s LG Display, one of the largest LCD suppliers in the world, has reduced its G7.5 fab production but has maintained normal output at its G5 and G6 fabs. This is understandable as LG Display has strong ties with IT manufacturers and is tops in LCD monitor and notebook PC panel manufacture.
AUO and CMO on the other hand has reduced production output on its G5 and G6 fabs. One answer to the two companies maintaining full production at their G7.5 fabs might be that there is continued demand for lower priced but large LCD TVs. With the world’s economy undergoing some painful restructuring, consumers are left with less ability to borrow at low interest rates. There are more unemployed as well. In the US there is the analog TV signal cutoff that is looming just around the corner, February 2009. Another consideration is that as more and more people drive less they tend to stay home more and the tendency is to watch a bit more TV too. If you put all of this together it points to a trend where consumers will continue to purchase TVs but cheaper ones. There are two ways to get cheaper ones: go for smaller models or get the ones with cheaper brands such as Westinghouse Digital, Maxent, Vizio, Akai, etc. but at the sizes you’d want to get. Second tier brands need to procure cheaper LCD TV panels and where else to get them but from Taiwan-based LCD manufacturers such as AUO and CMO.
[tags]AU Optronics, AUO, Chi Mei Optoelectronics, CMO, Display Manufacturer, LCD Manufacturer, LG Display, LPL, LCD TV, Notebook PC, LCD Monitor, Westinghouse Digital, Vizio, Maxent, Akai[/tags]