With the aim of reducing its dependence on the saturated smartphone market of the world, Japan Display is no aiming to expanding of its automotive display business. The urgency of the need for the strategy of the Japanese firm can be gauged from the fact that about 60 per cent of its revenues are generated from its business with Apple.
The United States based iPhone maker has in recent years saw a drop in its demand for the iconic smartphones globally. This has affected all the suppliers of parts for iPhones, including Japan Display.
The company’s chief manufacturing officer, Kazutaka Nagaoka, said in an interview that the new expansion plan of the company includes boosting of production at its plant in Tottori, western Japan, and supplying the panels manufactured to the major Japanese automakers.
“We could have spared opportunity losses if we had our production in Japan,” Nagaoka said in reference to the disruptions in production that the company experienced at its Chinese plant because of the lockdowns this year imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic in China,
While unwilling to say anything about the possible time frame nor the investment in the shifting of the production from China, Nagaoka said that the company is trying to come to a decision on the issue as soon as possible.
Japan Display, the largest producer of automotive screen maker in the world makes panel cells in Japan and then exports most of them to its Chinese plant. At the Chinese plant, the company then fits backlights, connectors and other parts. This is a labour intensive process and requires constant manual work.
The company now can replace the manual labour required for the back-end processes, which is currently done at its plant in China, with advancements in machinery aiding in automation of the process. That will help the company to reduce costs of labour even if they are made in Japan, Nagaoka said.
He added that a number of auto making clients of the company are also demanding that the entire panels be manufactured on a single automated line so that it is possible to constantly monitor high quality levels.
In separate developments, the company agreed to a deal with Japanese investment manager Ichigo Asset Management for a deal under which it will be receiving an amount of up to 110.8 billion yen ($1 billion). According to analysts, this bailout deal is a critical one for the company as the company has for long depended on rescue funds that have been financed by public money.
(Adapted from HindustanTimes.com)