JULY 30--Hitachi Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; www.hitachi.com) has decided to withdraw from the cathode-ray-tube (CRT) monitor market. In line with this decision, by the end of 2001 Hitachi will halt production of CRTs at its manufacturing bases in Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia, and is reviewing specific options for selling the business.
The sluggishness of the desktop PC market has reduced demand for CRTs, leading to a sharp fall in prices. Moreover, with future demand expected to shift to LCD monitors, there are no prospects for growth of the CRT market.
The Hitachi Display Group has been endeavoring to boost the cost-competitiveness of its products by transferring production overseas and moving to a lineup of higher-value-added products such as short-length CRTs, flat-face CRTs, and large-screen CRTs for PC monitors. However, it was determined that any radical improvement in profitability would be difficult to achieve, leading to the decision to pull out of the CRT business.
Looking ahead, the Display Group intends to concentrate resources on flat-panel displays, particularly TFT LCDs, including low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCDs, and to use its leading-edge technology, including Super TFT, which offers high picture quality and a wide viewing angle and is well-suited for moving picture images. In addition, July saw the start of TFT LCD production at a high-efficiency production line that uses the glass substrates measuring 730 x 920 mm. By utilizing these strengths, Hitachi will focus on expanding and improving the profitability of its display business, using a product lineup that ranges from small and medium-sized LCDs for mobile phones to large-screen models for multimedia applications.