Teaming up on LCD TVs

Hitachi, Toshiba and Matsushita Electric are to establish a joint venture company to manufacture and sell LCD panels for flat-panel TVs.

Hitachi, Toshiba and Matsushita Electric are to establish a joint venture (JV) company to manufacture and sell LCD panels for flat-panel TVs.

The JV will build an amorphous TFT LCD panel production line at the Mobara facility of Hitachi Displays, Hitachi’s wholly owned subsidiary.

Scheduled to begin mass production in the second quarter of the year ending March 31, 2007, the JV will expand production capacity in stages, ultimately reaching the equivalent of 2.5 million 32-inch TV LCD panels a year by the second half of fiscal 2008.

While Hitachi Displays, Toshiba and Matsushita will own majority shares in the JV, investments will be solicited from other companies involved in the manufacture of LCD panels too, including device makers and material suppliers.

Sales are growing for flat-panel TVs, which combine a high-quality picture and large screen with a space-saving profile. World-wide demand for LCD TVs was approximately 3.0 million units in 2003 and is estimated to expand fivefold by 2006.