Japanese electronic parts maker Murata Manufacturing has just opened a new plant in Thailand set to commence production in November 2024. It is expected that the Apple supplier will spend over USD 65 million in manufacturing investment at the plant in northern Thailand’s Lamphun province by 2028.
With the new plant, the company bets on future demand for multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), a key component in phones and electric vehicles. Murata leads the global MLCC market with a share of around two-fifths.
The new plant marks Murata’s first production of MLCCs in Thailand. One smartphone con contain 1,000 such capacitors. The component generates more than 40% of Murata’s group sales. The investment in Thailand is part of a strategy aimed at ensuring a stable supply for the company’s global customers.
Murata’s annual global sales of smartphones reached 1.4 billion units in the fiscal year ended March 2022. in the fiscal ending in March 2023, the phone market shrank to 1.1 billion units. Importantly, market research company IDC expects the smartphone market to recover to 1.35 billion units in 2027, near its size in 2021.
Besides Thailand, Murata has completed a new facility in western Japan’s Shimane prefecture and is investing in more capacity in the Philippines. The company also is counting on a boost from the worldwide shift to electrified vehicles.
(Source: Nikkei Asia)