Korean giant Samsung is expected to open a DRam plant in the North East in the next two years and will roll out monitors for a number of major OEMs in the coming month.
At the same time, Samsung Electronics announced a range of multimedia monitors and said it had dropped selling desktop PCs in the UK because of intense competition in the market.
Its plant at Wynyard Park in Teesside has also started production of 15in monitors, said Ali Demin, director of Samsung computers and peripherals division.
The monitors add to Samsung's Sync-master range and include two 15in models which feature integrated speakers and microphone, and a 21in high-end unit expected to cost around u1,500.
The machines have immediately availability through Samsung's 197 dealers and three distributors, and include three years' on-site maintenance.
Samsung Electronics will now concentrate on selling monitors, storage and notebooks through its existing channel. It will introduce three more notebook machines and high-capacity hard drives at the end of the year, and will make further moves into the 2.5in market, said Demin.
He said that Samsung Electronic now holds around 10 per cent of the branded monitor market. A source at the company said it would shortly begin production of Hewlett Packard and Digital monitors at the new site.
Expansion at the Teesside site is expected to amount to around u450 million by 2000. It could include production facilities for the Samsung car, said Chan Bae, deputy managing director of Samsung Manufacturing UK.
Before that happens, he said, Samsung will site its European R&D centre there and is also now building a staff training unit. Tony Blair, who Bae described as 'the next UK prime minister', will open the company's CTV unit on December 13.
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