AU Optronics (AUO) has outlined its company outlook for the rest of the year, which includes opening new production capacity in addition to hiring 1,500 new engineers.
Company chairman Paul Peng said AUO foresees a healthy panel market in 2015 and has been in the process of hiring approximately 1,500 new engineers while adjusting salaries to attract new talent.
AUO is also adding an additional production capacity of 25,000-30,000 substrates a month that will open completely in the first half of 2016, which will help the company improve its TV panel market share and TV panel revenues. AUO will also begin mass production of LTPS displays at a China-based Kunshan 6G fab in the second half of 2016, which will push up its smartphone panel market share as well as help the company further tackle the China smartphone panel market.
The company’s 6G fab will also help it compete against Korea-based panel makers, which are expected to expand production capacity for smartphone panels in China due to tariff preferences from recent FTAs between China and South Korea.
For 2015, AUO is pushing five major selling points for its panels to boost product demand, Peng said. The points are Ultra HD resolution – AUO will upgrade all sizes to support Ultra HD resolutions; curved display technology; integrated touch control technology; image improvement technologies such as wide color gamut and ultra-high dynamic contrast; and value-added functions for industrial, enterprise, car-use and wearable applications.
Peng added AUO is not considering a merger. The company is currently invested in new products, with an aim at applications extending outside of traditional areas such as vehicle- and industry-use panels, and is focused on differentiation strategies that will help set it apart from China makers. “Smart investing” will be key to AUO’s success in 2015, said Peng.
Overall, AUO will continue to improve its product mix, focus on strong management and profitability to compete with China panel makers, said Peng, adding AUO will not rule out the possibility of cooperating with other upstream makers provided their technologies meet AUO’s needs.