Mon, Apr 15, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Interview: Amtran to target Europe, foresees good year

Taiwanese flat-panel TV maker Amtran Technology Co Ltd, which makes TVs for US No.1 brand Vizio, is facing competition from the world's top contract electronics maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, which has also secured orders from Vizio lately. Amtran chairman and chief executive Alpha Wu spoke to Taipei Times’ staff reporter Lisa Wang and shared the firm's expansion plans and business strategies at a group interview last week.

Wu: Most TV manufacturers have component inventories ranging from three weeks to six weeks. If a war breaks out, but is limited to the [Asia-Pacific] region, the chances of disruptions in component supply will be slim.

Taking flat panels as an example, a war, if it did happen, would only cut some panel supplies and boost panel prices.

However, there will be no supply crunch, since there are many panel suppliers around the world.

TT: Since LCD panels account for a major part of Amtran’s raw material costs, will you make any changes to your panel purchasing strategy this year?

Amtran chief financial officer Scottie Chiu (邱裕平): We are diversifying our panel suppliers this year. South Korea’s LG Display Co as well as Taiwan’s two biggest panel makers, Innolux Corp (群創) and AU Optronics Corp (友達), have been our main suppliers in previous years.

However, we are considering buying LCD panels from Sharp Corp in the second half of the year as the weak yen will help us reduce costs. This would be the first time we source panels from Sharp.

Besides, we are also thinking about increasing orders of 32-inch LCD panels on China’s two biggest panel makers [BOE Technology Group Co (京東方) and China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co (華星)], given their lower prices.

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