NEC Corp. said Thursday it will turn five domestic plants into independent electronics manufacturing service companies while selling or integrating others in a wide-ranging restructuring plan.

Of its 17 plants, excluding chip-making sites, those slated to be split into independent EMS firms, which will also accept orders from companies outside the NEC group, include factories in Gunma, Nagano and Shizuoka prefectures, NEC officials said.

NEC’s Gunma factory produces personal computers, while its Nagano plant manufactures computer peripherals. Two plants in Shizuoka make mobile communications equipment.

NEC will also set up a wholly owned subsidiary on Monday to handle procurement, production and delivery for the planned firms, the officials said.

Other plants being considered in the plan include one in Ibaraki Prefecture, which produces computer servers, and another in Niigata Prefecture that manufactures PCs and printers.

NEC will endeavor to secure employment for those affected by the restructure, even if plants are sold or consolidated, the officials added.

Meanwhile, electronics maker Fujitsu Ltd. is also planning to restructure its factories in a similar way, including closing down unprofitable plants.

To facilitate the process, the firm will establish a special task force by the end of April, Fujitsu officials said.

Sony restructures

Sony Corp. will set up its “global hub” group headquarters Sunday by reorganizing its present headquarter functions, company executives said Thursday.

Unveiling its management policy for fiscal 2001, Sony Chairman Nobuyuki Idei said the functions of its present headquarters will be split into three to improve management efficiency. The other two are the “electronics headquarters” and the “management platform.”

While the global hub will focus on overall group management strategies and offer a unified group vision, the management platform will provide support for group companies in areas including accounting, finance and information systems.

The electronics headquarters will promote development of next-generation products such as mobile equipment and networked home appliances by combining audio visual, information and communications technology.

The company will actively introduce Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) to its hardware as part of its effort to make user-friendly products. IPv6 is being touted as a next-generation protocol that can offer efficient and secure transactions of information online and help connect home appliances with the Internet.

Idei also said Sony will further develop technology for key devices such as semiconductors and display devices to produce unique products.

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