• Kyodo

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Panasonic Corp. will boost its plasma TV panel production capacity at its factory in Shanghai by about five times in fiscal 2012 to meet the voracious demands of Chinese consumers for TVs, company sources said Friday.

The Shanghai plant’s output capacity will be raised to the equivalent of 120,000 42-inch panels a month by March 2013 from 25,000 at present, the sources said.

Strengthening local production will reduce transportation costs and currency exchange risks because the electronics maker exports products from Japan when its Shanghai plant, which began output in 2002, falls short of supply.

The Shanghai plant is one of the two plasma panel production bases for Panasonic. The other plant is located in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture.

The Osaka-based firm plans to shift some of its plasma panel facilities to the Chinese factory in the future as it is considering changing some of the Amagasaki plant production lines to solar cell manufacturing, the sources said.

The Shanghai plant will take on production of 3-D TV panels from 2012 in the wake of the company’s launch of a 50-inch 3-D TV in China earlier this month, they said.

Panasonic intends to expand its sales in emerging markets to ¥770 billion in fiscal 2012 from ¥440 billion in fiscal 2009. Of the expected ¥330 billion increase, China alone is projected to account for ¥107 billion, the sources said.

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