In another sign of a continuing consolidation in the monitor industry, two electronics giants are integrating their U.S.-based operations with an eye towards improving their competitiveness.
On Monday, the U.S. monitor manufacturing and marketing operations of NEC and Mitsubishi Electric were combined into a single entity, NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America, based here.
Operations at the 50-50 joint venture are expected to start July 1.
This joint venture is the latest step in a gradual combination of monitor resources which started April 1 when NEC-Mitsubishi Electric Visual Systems was founded in Japan. NEC spun off its Personal Display Division, which produces CRT and LCD monitors, and contributed it to the joint venture. Mitsubishi did the same with its Monitor Division and its CRT facilities.
Both NEC and Mitsubishi have production facilities worldwide, including one each in Mexico, that are being combined into the joint venture, says Al Giazzon, who will be vice president of marketing for the new venture starts.
NEC-Mitsubishi does not plan to cut back on production facilities as a result of the joint venture, says Giazzon. However, they will be better able to make use of the combined resources, he says. "If one [plant] is busy, we can move the overflow to another," he says.
The joint venture will start offering its first combined products, LCD monitors, late this year, followed early next year with CRT monitors, Giazzon says. The products will continue to be sold with both the NEC and the Mitsubishi brand names, and there will be no combined brand name, he says. "We want to leverage both brands' own strengths," he says. "Or sell one brand at one retailer, and the other brand at another."
NEC-Mitsubishi will continue its current NEC and Mitsubishi channel partner programs until they expire, at which time the company will merge them.
The new joint venture is the latest in a series of consolidation moves by the industry. In January, ViewSonic, Walnut, Calif., purchased the branded monitor facilities of Finland-based Nokia.