South Korean electronics major Samsung will restart manufacturing LED TVs in India through contract manufacturers from early next year, according to sources. Samsung, which had shifted its entire TV manufacturing to Vietnam from Chennai last year, after the government hiked import duty on “open cells,” a key component used in making TVs, in last year’s budget.
Recently the South Korean MNC entered into an agreement with Dixon Technologies for production in India, sources close to the development told PTI.
The sources, who did not wish to be named, pointed out that the environment is conducive for manufacturing after the government's recent move to rollback custom duty imposed on display panels to zero.
Presently, Samsung imports its portfolio of TVs from Vietnam under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
The sources indicated that Samsung is also in discussions with other contract manufacturers to meet the demand in the Indian market as the company is the largest player in the segment.
When contacted, a Samsung spokesperson declined to comment.
In September, the government had removed 5 percent customs duty imposed on import of open cell TV panels (used to manufacture LED TVs) in order to promote local manufacturing.
The sources pointed out that the cost of importing TV sets from Vietnam turned out to be steep due to longer turnaround time.
By the time the product reaches India, the market dynamics changes, the sources said, adding that manufacturing in India would provide a strong impetus on this account.
However, Samsung would continue to import its high-end TV models from Vietnam and other locations, they said.
In October, Samsung Electronics had said it was aiming to expand its share of the India flat-screen TV market to more than a third within months, as it unveiled a new line of premium TVs it hopes will stave off the slowdown it and other suppliers have seen in other markets, according to Reuters.
Samsung, best-known for its mobile phones, tablets and consumer electronics, but also the world’s biggest maker of microchips, reported its weakest profit in over two years in April.
India remains relatively unscathed territory, with Samsung occupying the top spot in the local TV market. The company is facing competition from LG Electronics Inc and Sony Corp, as well as a handful of smaller Chinese rivals.
The Indian TV market is estimated to be around 14 million units. The majority of the market is controlled by three leading brands—Samsung, LG and Sony. However, these brands are witnessing strong competition from new entrants like Xiaomi, Vu and Thomson.
--With agency inputs
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Updated Date: Nov 21, 2019 08:22:15 IST