LG Electronics, the world’s second-largest TV manufacturer, has installed a liquid-crystal display production line at its flat-screen plant in China targeting a rapidly expanding Chinese middle class, the company said Sunday.
The new facility in Shenyang, the capital of northeastern Liaoning province, began operation recently to produce about 65,000 LCD televisions per month.
“It follows our strategies to actively respond to the Chinese premium TV market by establishing a production line for LCD TVs, for which demand has surged recently,” an LG official said.
The Seoul-headquartered firm runs 14 factories in China but had produced LCD TVs only at its Nanjing unit in southern China.
It plans to distribute 3-D TVs and smart TVs made in Shenyang throughout northern China and keep Nanjing as a production base for southern regions, another official said, thus saving shipping costs and making its supply chain more sophisticated.
“LG is the first Korean major company to gain a foothold in northeastern China,” the official said. “We’re expecting to play a big part in bringing jobs and stimulating the local economy.”
It plans to add another line in Shenyang by July, doubling monthly output to 130,000 units, officials added.
The electronics giant, teamed up with affiliate LG Display, is betting heavily on China’s sharply growing high-end TV market for next-generation flat-panel technologies this year.
LG Display, the world’s No. 2 LCD maker after Samsung Electronics, showcased its new 3-D panel using film-type patterned retarders in Beijing in December, which it claimed features full high-definition picture quality and does not suffer the problems of existing displays such as flickering and crosstalk.
In November, Samsung and LG Display obtained approval from the Chinese government to build LCD factories there. They want to begin operations in 2012 or 2013.
LG Electronics aims to boost China sales to $3 billion this year from $2.5 billion in 2010.
Market research firm DisplaySearch predicted that China would outstrip the U.S. as the world’s largest LCD market at the end of last year with 40 million units.
By Shin Hyon-hee (email@example.com