Korean LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) panel manufacturer Samsung announced on December 6 that the company decided to lower its factory utilization rate for LCD panels in anticipation of weakening market demand for LCD TVs, particularly in Europe and the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on December 7. Samsung stated that the company's LCD factory utilization rate current reaches between 90% -94%, down from the end of November 2010, where the company reached the full production capacity. Other peers such as AUO and LG, however, will not follow suit. AUO stated that the company will keep the factory utilization rate of its LCD panels at approximately mid-80%, similar to that in the third quarter of 2010. LG's LCD panel factory utilization rate will also remain intact, according to Dow Jones reported on December 6. LG's average factory utilization rate in the third quarter was in the low 90%.
Meanwhile, following the announcement made by the Chinese government that approved investment projects proposed by Korean LG and Samsung, Samsung recently stated that the company’s new 7.5G factory, with an initial capital of 2.6 trillion Won (US$2.30 billion; US$1=1,135 Won), will begin operations by 2012 instead of in the third quarter of 2011 as originally scheduled, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported on December 7. Further details regarding the production capacity of the plant, however, were not yet disclosed.