Falling TV Prices Killed the Foxconn Factory

Breitbart | 1/31/2019 | Staff
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Foxconn Technology had big plans to build television displays in Wisconsin.

Then the price of televisions in the United States crashed.

Foxconn - Wednesday - Plans - LCD - Displays

Foxconn said Wednesday that it is rethinking its ambitious plans to build LCD displays in a factory in Wisconsin. In an interview with Reuters, a Foxconn executive said the company would instead use the site for research purposes rather than manufacturing.

The compaany said it remains committed to the project, the creation of 13,000 jobs and “to our long-term investment in Wisconsin.” But because the global market environment that existed when the project was first announced in 2017 has shifted, “this has necessitated the adjustment of plans for all projects, including Wisconsin.”

Foxconn - Details - Market - Changes - Plans

Foxconn did not provide details about what global market changes had impacted its plans.

Media reports have cited tight labor markets and higher wages in the U.S. Manufacturing labor costs, however, are up just over 2 percent for the year.

Louis - Woo - Assistant - Foxconn - CEO

Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, told Reuters in a story published Wednesday that it is scaling back and possibly shelving plans to build liquid crystal display panel screens.

“In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.,” Woo told Reuters. “We can’t compete.”

Challenge - Plan - Foot - Display - Panel

The biggest challenge to its original plan to invest $10 billion to build a 22-million square foot liquid-crystal display panel plant is not labor costs in the U.S. What has changed is that the prices of televisions have undergone a stunning decline.

Compared with a year ago, television prices have declined 18.6 percent, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Profit - Workers - US

That makes it much harder to turn a profit while paying workers in the U.S.

There’s no ready explanation for the decline in television prices. Industry experts say a slowdown in housing may be playing a role, although the price drop has been so steep that the housing...
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