AU Optronics (AUO) is the largest LCD manufacturer in Taiwan and one of the largest in the world but even the largest cannot go unaffected by a global decline in demand for LCD goods. AUO will be reducing its worldwide workforce by 2% or 700 employees starting in January 2009. AUO employs about 38,000 workers on a global basis.Â The company stressed that workforce adjustments are conducted annually. I am sure the workforce reduction is a direct result of the expected anouncement of poor results for Q4’08.
Other Taiwan-based companies such as Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) and Wintek have reduced their workforce as well. CMO recently received urgent orders for LCD TV panels that will give a much-needed boost to its LCD fab utilization rates, which were just 20% – 30% in November and December. The urgent order will bring utilization rates close to 50%. With inventory drying up any large bump in expected demand will result in emergency LCD panel orders.
With LCD fab utilizations at just 60% in Q4’08 and entering into a seasonally weak first half, AUO as well as other LCD manufacturers are in for a bumpy ride.
[tags]AU Optronics, AUO, LCD Manufacturer, Display Manufacturer, Chi Mei Optoelectronics, CMO, Wintek[/tags]