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Sharp to Reorganize LCD Panel Plants

Looking Ahead to Start of Operations at New Plant in Sakai, Sharp Will Establish Production System with Higher Production Efficiency for Large and for Small and Medium-Size LCD Panels

In preparation for the start of operations at its new LCD panel plant now under construction in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Sharp Corporation will undertake a reorganization of its Kameyama Plant (Kameyama City, Mie Prefecture), which currently produces large LCD panels for TVs, and its Mie Plant (Taki-cho, Mie Prefecture) and Tenri Plant (Tenri City, Nara Prefecture), which both produce small and medium-size LCD panels, commencing in January 2009.

The exterior of the new LCD panel plant in Sakai, which will employ the world’s largest 10th-generation glass substrates, is nearly complete. Production equipment is now being installed. The start of operations originally planned for March 2010 is now indeed on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Sharp has been exploring a reorganization of its existing LCD panel plants to strengthen competitiveness in production. The reorganization includes parts of the Tenri and Mie Plants that have almost fully depreciated, and Kameyama Plant No. 1, which employs 6th-generation glass substrates.

In this light, and given the excess supply of LCD panels in the current market environment, Sharp has decided that now is an optimal time to initiate a reorganization of existing plants.

Sharp will concentrate production of large LCD panels for TVs at Kameyama Plant No. 2, which uses 8th-generation glass substrates. This shift, along with output from the new plant in Sakai, will allow Sharp to further strengthen its competitive edge in production of large LCD TV panels.

At present, Sharp is manufacturing small and medium-size LCD panels at Mie (Plants Nos. 1, 2, and 3) and at its Tenri Plant. Under this reorganization, production of some LCD panels from these plants will be shifted to Kameyama Plant No. 1. And because Kameyama Plant No. 1 uses larger 6th-generation glass substrates, Sharp will be able to boost production efficiency for small and medium-size LCD panels and thus strengthen its competitiveness regarding these LCDs.

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Meanwhile, production items and panel sizes at the Mie and Tenri Plants will be reviewed. Production lines at Mie Plant No. 1 and at the Tenri Plant that have fully depreciated will be terminated.

Under this reorganization, for both its large and its small and medium-size LCD businesses, Sharp will strengthen its global competitive superiority by constructing a highly efficient production system that further enhances competitiveness.

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