Today, Panasonic Group announced to invest an additional $84 million fund in a couple of years in Vietnam, bringing its total investment capital in this emerging market to $224 million.
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With positive growth, political stability, increasing of capable and fast-learning labor force full of potentials, Vietnam is evaluated as a potential market and one of the key focuses of Panasonic’s worldwide strategy, according to the announcement.
“Vietnam will become the largest refrigerator and washing machine production base of Panasonic Group in Asia,” said Shinichi Wakita, general director of Panasonic Vietnam.
Panasonic Group’s new investment plan in Vietnam will mainly target developing both new and expanded manufacturing facilities plants in Hanoi and northern Hung Yen province.
In its move, Panasonic plans to build a new plant in the lot of the capital’s Thang Long Industrial Park for producing ALIVH multi-layer resin boards for use in smartphones and other high-functionality mobile terminals.
This new plant, with the monthly capacity of 3.5 million units, which is Panasonic’s third overseas ALIVH production facility, after two in Taiwan, will start the production in August 2012. This output will bring Panasonic’s total overseas production capacity to 9.5 million units per month, almost six times the level of the last fiscal year.
Besides, Panasonic has decided to expand their refrigerator factory in Thang Long Industrial Park, which was built in 2003. As scheduled, in 2015, the group’s Vietnam-based refrigerator production is expected to be doubled against 2011 figure of 400,000 products per year, with emphasis on creating local components and assembling high quality Panasonic refrigerators to meet local demands as well as export.
Wakita said Panasonic Group would relocate a part of its refrigerator production in Thailand to Vietnam.
Also in its plan, Panasonic will open a new washing machine factory in Thang Long Industrial Park 2 in Hung Yen province with production target of 700,000 sets per year in 2015. After that, a Home Appliances research and development (R&D) centre will be opened in the same place to develop most suitable products for Vietnamese customers. When coming into operation, the factory and R&D centre in Hung Yen are expected to provide over 1,000 jobs to local workers.
“This new phase of expansion re-affirms the long-term commitment to Vietnam of Panasonic Group, aiming at becoming the leading brand name in the two above-mentioned sections and furthermost, the leading brand name in electronics and home appliances in Vietnam with annual two-digit growth rate from 2011-2015,” said Wakita, adding that the target of sales for Panasonic Vietnam in 2011 was $1 billion, four times higher than 2003’s figure.
By August 2011, Panasonic Vietnam has comprised six companies - a holding company, four manufacturing companies and a high-tech R&D centre with the total workforce of over 8,200 employees.