Rising costs in the Far East in recent years has resulted in Tijuana reestablishing itself as the world’s premier television manufacturing location.”
It is widely known that the Mexican border city that is situated just to the south of San Diego, California is home to a burgeoning electronics industry. Tijuana has approximately one hundred and twenty companies within its city limits that employ just under one hundred thousand workers in direct labor shop floor manufacturing activities. Although many of the firms making consumer and specialty electronics are based in the United States, a significant percentage of the firms engaged in these activities are companies that are based in Far East headquartered companies from countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and, increasingly, China. Many in this group of businesses, along with their Asian and non-Asian, supplier base make television manufacturing in Tijuana king.
Tijuana is recognized as being a world leader in the production of plasma, HDTV and LCD television sets. Television manufacturing in Tijuana became a major industrial activity in the city’s electronics sector during the 1980s, when, over the course of that decade, thirty million units were produced each year. Although, for a time, Tijuana lost ground to China, in the last several years the capital of the State of Baja California has regained its position as the world leader in this manufacture of this product.
Among the developments that have resulted in the resurgence of television manufacturing in Tijuana was the opening of a Center for Digital Research and Technological Development there in 2013 by Korean electronics giant, Samsung. The purpose of the creation of the Center was for the development of technologies specifically aimed at serving Latin American markets. Samsung chose the city due to the fact that television manufacturing in Tijuana had a long track record of success for more than twenty-five years as being a principle driver of the border city’s electronics sector, as well as significant employer of its manufacturing workforce. Samsung opened an integrated manufacturing plant in Tijuana in 1996.
Another gain for television manufacturing in Tijuana was the decison of Irvine, California-based Vizio to move its contract manufacturing hub from Asia to Tijuana. The leading flat screen manufacturer decided to move the production of its larger models there from China due to a consistent rise in manufacturing costs there, as well as in Taiwan a year prior to Samsung’s establishment of its Center for Digital Research in Baja California’s foremost manufacturing city.
In 2014, Chinese business concerns expanded their television manufacturing in Tijuana, when the TCL purchased Sanyo’s Tijuana factory. TCL is the third largest HDTV brand in the world. Their purchase of Sanyo’s Tijuana facilities was driven by the desire to establish a production beachhead that would allow them to reduce the distance required to ship product to the world’s largest consumer market. Also in 2014, TPV of Taiwan announced that it would invest over US $10 million in new capital at its Tijuana plant, in addition to expanding its workforce by five hundred over the course of the present year. In total, annual exports of high-tech flat screens from Tijuana manufacturing facilities exceeded twenty million units in 2015.
In the current year, television manufacturing in Tijuana stands as reigning king.