"We will continue to focus on organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and, by concentrating on growing commercial and automotive businesses, we will raise the proportion of OLED and growth businesses to more than 50% by 2020 (the latter half of 20% in 2018) by 2020."
Sang Bum Han, Vice Chairman of LG Display, announced such a goal on the 7th (local time) at a news conference held in Las Vegas, USA. Han Vice Chairman explained, "There was a lot of difficulty due to oversupply and enormous investment due to intensified competition last year." However, he added, “The large OLED business turned to be profitable and as there was stable profit generated mainly from high value-added products, the second half of the year could experience recovery.”
"The total investment of 23 trillion won, which started in 2017, will be finished this year," he said and added, “This year is the Golden Time for investments. Thus, we will prepare a long-term growth engine.”
Han Vice Chairman explained that the 8.5G OLED panel factory in China will be completed in the first half of this year, and mass production will begin in the third quarter to significantly increase the production output. "The goal is to increase the number of TV OLED panel sales from 2.9mn units in 2018 to 4mn units this year, and to reach 10mn units in 2021," he said. The Vice Chairman explained that, based on substrate inputs, it will be expanded to 60,000 pieces from the starting point of 30,000 pieces.
"We are installing pilot equipment,” he said about the P10 plant in Paju and explained, "We are developing a 'ledger' technology, not a half cut, aimed toward mass production in the second quarter of 2021." A ledger means that a piece of substrate is put in and is completely processed. In the current production line, a half-cut method is adopted in which the substrate is cut in half before being processed. While the productivity of the ledger process is significantly increased, there are many technical challenges to overcome in order to realize the ledger technology.
The productivity of the sixth generation of Gumi plant, which has a capacity of 15,000 sheets per month based on the substrate input, will also be increased. The new 6G plant in Paju is expected to stabilize early and to expand its production volume. Han Vice Chairman said, "Currently, the total production capacity of the 6th generation plant in Paju is 30,000, and we plan to turn all of the 30,000 units in the second half of the year depending on the situation." He said LG Display plans to steadily prepare related technologies and infrastructure so that future products such as foldable displays can be released in a timely manner.
LG Display also prioritized fostering its commercial and automotive businesses. In the commercial market, it is planning to increase its market share with differentiated products such as ultra-large products like 98 and 86-inch products, products applied with LG Display's unique in-touch technology, products with the Bezel of only 0.44mm, and transparent and gaming products.
For automobiles, the business will be promoted centering on high-resolution liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and flexible OLEDs with more than 8-inch screen and high-resolution. The company is planning to position itself as the number one in the fast-growing auto market by preparing the production infrastructure necessary for business expansion in a timely manner and further strengthening its cost competitiveness.
On the other hand, LG Display, which carried out voluntary retirement in the second half of last year, said it is considering related activities this year. Han Vice President said, "Regardless of the economy, we are thinking about voluntary retirement," and added, "We have a crisis scenario and we want to prepare for the cost savings."