New Delhi: After a delay of more than 18 months, TCL Group is expected to start production of display panels for mobile phones and televisions at its factory in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, during the fourth quarter and is looking to hire about 1000 employees.
“We had announced an investment of 1.53 billion yuan (approximately $ 219 million) in September 2019 to start manufacturing display modules in India,” Mike Chen, general manager of TCL India told ET exclusively. “The plan was to start the phase 1 operation in the second quarter of 2020, but the project encountered difficulties such as shortages of raw materials, workers and equipment due to the pandemic.”
“We are pleased to announce that TCL group company, CSOT (China Star Optoelectronics Technology) will annually manufacture 8 million 32” to 75 “television panels and 30 million 3.5” to 8 cell phone panels. “. Out of 11 production lines, 5 will be assigned to TV panels and 6 to screens for mobile phones, ”he added.
It would be the second largest handset display assembly unit in India after Samsung, while its competitors Holitech, TXD and LCE currently have very limited production. The 280,000 square meter facility in Tirupati is TCL’s largest investment to date outside of its home market.
“India has become the world’s third largest television market and the second largest mobile phone market. Samsung, Xiaomi, and other cell phone and TV manufacturers, many of whom are TCL CSOT customers, all have factories in India. We started the project in India to shorten the production cycle as well as the transport distance of raw materials and improve the efficiency of the supply chain, ”Chen said.
The emergence of panel module suppliers like CSOT in India will help smartphone brands cut costs, as the government recently imposed a 10% base tariff on display assembly in October of the year. last.
Regarding the increase in TV prices, Chen said the company has so far increased prices by 5-6% and warned that most TV brands may increase their prices during the holiday season. because demand in large markets like North America continues to grow.
“North America is the largest market for televisions with a size of 40 to 50 million shipments per year, compared to India which is between 12 and 15 million at most. Last year, the market expanded another 20% as the US government lobbied TV makers. If global demand continues to increase by the same magnitude, prices will certainly continue to rise, ”Chen said.
TCL is the fifth largest television brand in the world with a 5.6% market share and the second largest television producer in the world. In India, it is the seventh best-selling brand that shipped nearly 1.5 million units during the holiday season last year, he said. It launched the Mini LED range powered by Android 11 with gaming features and a video call camera that enable Google Duo and Zoom calls.
In India, it sells televisions under the TCL and iFFALCON brands which are manufactured by Dixon Technologies, BPL and Mirc Electronics, the manufacturer of the Onida brand televisions. iFFALCON Technology Holdings Limited is the joint venture between TCL Electronics and internet content provider Tencent Digital.
TCL air conditioners are manufactured at the facilities of Panasonic and Amber Group.