Taiwan's LCD TV makers should shift production into higher gear by breaking into emerging markets, Hsu Mei-wen (徐美雯), a senior researcher at the Market Intelligence Center (市場情報中心), said at a seminar in Taipei yesterday.
LCD TVs are a red hot item worth exploration by Taiwanese high-tech firms, Hsu said.
However, Taiwanese companies tend to be smaller in scale compared to their Japanese and South Korean competitors, and the lack of economies of scale has severely trimmed their average gross profits to less than 5 percent, she said.
Hsu said that in the past, LCD TVs were only popular in developed European countries, Japan and the US, but the product has become increasingly sought after in emerging markets, albeit at a lower price.
This has provided new turf for Taiwanese makers, in particular those in the second tier, to gain a foothold apart from saturated mainstream markets, the researcher said, citing the four "BRICs" -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- as good markets for Taiwanese manufacturers to cash in.
Nevertheless, Hsu called attention to high customs tariffs imposed by those countries that swell to 20 percent in Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia and Brazil, and as high as 30 percent in China.
High tariffs would significantly affect Taiwanese companies' market deployment and their global competitiveness when they tap those markets, she said.