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Samsung to bolster LCD marketing in U.S.

By Spencer Chin / EE Times
November 7, 2005

MANHASSET, N.Y. — As part of an effort to regain market-leading status in the global liquid crystal display (LCD) market, Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., announced it is intensifying the marketing activities of its LCD Business within the Americas.

For several years, Samsung has traded places with Korean LG.Philips LCD as the leading global supplier of thin-film-transistor (TFT) LCD panels. In the second quarter, market research firm DisplaySearch Inc. ranked Samsung #2 behind LG in shipments of large-area (10-in. and larger) LCD panels.

Samsung LCD has established specialized sales teams focused on specific markets such as television, mobile displays and computer information technology. It also has appointed Scott Birnbaum vice president of sales for its LCD Business.

By the year’s end, Samsung also will invest more LCD resources to expand sales operations in Mexico, Brazil and selected areas of the United States, beginning in the Southwest.

"LCD panels have been gaining widespread popularity due to technology advancements and what we believe is the industry's best value proposition, so we have invested in increased resources to meet demand in the Americas' within key markets such as cellular, large screen TV and public information displays," said Joe Virginia, vice president of Samsung’s LCD Business, in a statement.

Birnbam, who has held executive positions at electronics distributor All American Semiconductor as well as semiconductor supplier Texas Instruments, is slated to play a key role in Samsung’s beefed-up Americas marketing effort. As vice president for LCD sales, Birnbaum will focus on expanding relationships with major OEMs in all targeted markets as well as directing new business development in emerging market segments.

The stakes are huge for Samsung, which has invested billions of dollars in state-of-the-art next-generation fabs and has ambitiously projected LCD sales of $20 billion by 2010.

In September, Samsung said it would invest an additional $1.7 billion into adding a second production line at its Generation 7 fab in Tangjeong, Korea, operated as part of its S-LCD Corp. joint venture with Sony. The line is slated to begin operating next April, with a large portion of the output directed toward North America.

Samsung continues to face stiff competition not only from LG.Philips LCD, which reported increased sales and profits in its third quarter ended Sept. 30, but also from Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp., which is increasing capacity at its Generation 6 fab in TaiChung.