Capacitor supplier Kemet Corp. announced plans to begin manufacturing in the
People's Republic of China during calendar 2003, joining other U.S.-based
companies trying to carve out a slice of the rapidly-growing Far East market.
The Greenville, S.C., company could not be reached for comment
on which products it would manufacture in China or where the plants will be
established. However, it is known that Kirk Shockley, a 20-year Kemet veteran,
will head Kemet's China initiative as Director of Operations PRC.
Previously, Kemet maintained plants only in the U.S. and Mexico, opting to
ship capacitors to warehouses in Singapore and Hong Kong to serve Asia. However,
the shift of Kemet's customer base -- many large computer and communications
companies and their EMS providers -- to the Far East, particularly China, prompted
the company to change its strategy.
"A quarter of our current revenue is generated in Asia, and a long-term
trend of many our European and North American based customers is migrating
manufacturing operations to Asia, in particular China," said David E. Maguire,
Kemet's chairman and chief executive, in a statement. "In addition, Kemet is
building strong relationships with emerging global leaders in electronics
manufacturing based in Asia."
Last month, Vishay Intertechnology Inc., a Malvern, PA., component
supplier that competes with Kemet on some capacitors, completed the acquisition
of BCcomponents Holdings B.V., a Netherlands-based passive component supplier
with plants in China and India.