Sharp to strip name from flagship LCD factory as Foxconn parent moves in

Sharp's Sakai facilities in central Japan are its technical pride and joy, but deep losses forced it to seek investors

Japan's Sharp said Thursday it will remove its name from a key LCD factory, as part of the completion of a major cash infusion from Foxconn Electronics' parent company, a symbolic move that reflects the shifting landscape of the electronics industry.

The company said it will next week rename subsidiary Sharp Display Products, which runs one of the world's most advanced LCD manufacturing plants, to Sakai Display Products, after the city in central Japan where it is located. The name change is part of a deal finalized today, in which Hon Hai Precision Industry acquires nearly half of the factory and a stake of almost 10 percent in Sharp. The deal was first announced in March.

The seemingly minor name change was once unthinkable for a proud Japanese manufacturer like Sharp, which has long trumpeted the facility as its flagship factory. But Sharp has struggled to boost profits as TV prices fall, while Hon Hai has become the world's largest electronics manufacturer, with clients that include Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Nintendo.

Sharp's decision to partner with Taiwan-based Hon Hai has been viewed within the country as a sign of the fading power of Japan's manufacturers. The Nikkei, Japan's main business newspaper, ran a story last month describing Sharp as "trembling" under the pressure applied by Hon Hai.

Sharp had long courted domestic rival Sony as a partner in the factory, but Sony is jettisoning manufacturing plants as it battles deep losses, especially in TVs. The companies said in May that Sony would sell its 7 percent stake in Sharp Display Products, receiving back the original 10 billion yen (US$130 million) investment it first made in 2009.

The Sakai plant currently makes massive panels best suited for large-screen TVs, though Sharp has said it will try to focus more on panels for smaller devices like phones and tablets.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?