Sanmina-SCI to Make IBM PCs in PenangIn
a bid to cut cost and enhance logistics efficiency, IBM Corp has relocated
part of its desktop PC manufacturing activities from Shenzhen, China to
The move signals a reversal of fortune for
Penang, Malaysia's "Silicon Island", which in recent years has faced
serious loss of fresh foreign investment for its mainstay electronic
components manufacturing to the burgeoning Chinese economy.
joins other manufacturers such as Dell Computer Corp, Intel Corp, and
Advanced Micro Devices Inc that continue to invest in Penang, while
hedging their bets with operations in China.
IBM has commissioned
the manufacture of its NetVista series of desktop PCs in Malaysia to
electronic manufacturing services (EMS) provider Sanmina-SCI Corp. The
deal is an extension of a global three-year, US$5 billion outsourcing
agreement signed between the two companies in 2002.
will produce "Made-in-Malaysia" IBM PCs at its US$26m plant in Bukit
Tengah Industrial Park in Prai, Penang, which has a production capacity of
200,000 units per year. The plant will ship direct to Singapore,
Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. The Shenzhen facility,
meanwhile, will continue to service China and other north Asian
The first 200 IBM NetVista
computers rolled out in October 2002 and were shipped to Singapore.
Another 300 PCs have been donated to local government-initiated rural
Internet centers and 100 non-profit child centers
"Apart from a faster delivery cycle in the region owing
to market proximity," said IBM Malaysia's managing director Voon Seng
Chuan, "our PCs now can be rolled out to local customers too, from the
plant itself, because of an integrated supply chain."
that the locally manufactured NetVistas, comprising the M Series, the A
Series and the X Series, will be sold locally at competitive rates.
IDC Corp has forecast the market value of desktop PCs at about
US$2.013 billion for Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, and
Voon said factors that influenced the shift
to Penang were its strategic location, stable and secure socio-political
environment, strong government support and solid infrastructure. He added
that the state's skilled manpower and mature support industry were also
strong plus factors.
Sanmina-SCI set up operations in Penang in
1997 and also provides other services such as printed circuit board
assembly, system integration, back-end assembly and engineering services.
It has a workforce of about 500 staff and plans to hire 200-300 more
within the next six months.
(January 2003 Issue, Nikkei Electronics Asia)
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