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Japan to move hi-tech to Mexico


By Misty - Posted on 18 March 2011

Japan to move part of hi-tech production to Mexico in wake of disaster

Source: RIA Novosti

MEXICO CITY - A number of large Japanese electronics companies damaged by the strong earthquake and tsunami last week plan to move part of their production lines to Mexico in the near future, President of the National Chamber of Electronics Industry Fernando Sierra Ortiz said.

Ortiz said the decision to move production lines to Mexico stems from the necessity to immediately renew the production and constant equipping of elements to the North American market.

"The disaster that hit Japan has forced Japanese electronics and computer technologies producers to move part of their production to Mexico where there are already highly qualified personnel. Our proximity to the United States also plays an important role in this as this will significantly decrease production costs," Ortiz said.

Panasonic has halted production at two plants in Fukushima which produce audio equipment and digital cameras, as well as its plant in Sendai that produces lenses. Canon has closed eight of its plants.

One of the largest producers of photo equipment, Nikon, has temporarily closed five of its lens production plants, including Sendai Nikon, which produces cameras.

Sony has also halted production in several plants, including Sony Shiroishi Semiconductor and Sony Energy Devices, which produces lithium-ion batteries.

He said that by 2013, Mexico would produce $15 billion worth of hi-tech equipment.

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Source: Reuters

Several parts of the new version of the popular iPad tablet PC come from Japan, including the battery and the flash memory used to store music and video on the device.

"Logistical disruptions may mean Apple could have difficulties obtaining this battery, and it may not be able to secure supply from an external, non-Japanese source," iSuppli said.

-snip-

Electronics Bottlenecks

Japan's grip on the global electronics supply chain is causing particular concern. Japan exported 7.2 trillion yen ($91.3 billion) worth of electronic parts last year, according to Mirae Asset Securities.

"Should the Japan crisis be prolonged, I expect a shortage of electronic parts in the second quarter," said James Song, an analyst at Daewoo Securities, noting that Japan provides 57 percent of global needs for wafers, which are key materials used to make chips.

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For 2010, the Mexican minimum wage is set at 57.46 pesos ($4.76) per person per day.

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