WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world leader in hard drive shipments, today announced that the company will begin hard drive manufacturing operations in Brazil, positioning the company to more effectively meet customer demand in this rapidly growing market and adding a key element to WD's global supply chain infrastructure.
To maintain the highest levels of quality and lowest cost, WD will be partnering with local Brazilian electronics manufacturing leader Digitron to perform manufacturing operations and fulfillment services. Digitron's high-volume notebook PC assembly and motherboard manufacturing plant in the Manaus Free Trade Zone is being utilized for WD's products. This facility has existing infrastructure, a highly skilled workforce and a seasoned management team.
"The strategic decision to expand our global manufacturing operations into Brazil positions WD to more efficiently meet growing customer demand as we invest in the development of this key market," said Tim Leyden, WD's chief operating officer. "Continued investments in large high-growth markets like Brazil, markets with developing infrastructures, strong underlying economics and an important customer base, will further solidify WD's industry leadership. The new operations are part of a multi-year project to strengthen and diversify WD's manufacturing base while increasing our footprint in one of the world's most exciting markets."
The venture is expected to produce an estimated US$175 million worth of hard drives in its first year of operation and at least 50 new jobs in the region.
"We're extremely proud to have been selected to be a part of WD's manufacturing strategy in the country," said Sung Un Song, chief executive officer of Digitron. "This allows us to utilize our local knowledge and infrastructure with access to WD's extensive hard drive manufacturing expertise to provide high-quality, competitive products to customers."
"The new operation will help WD streamline its supply chain to Brazilian OEM and distribution partners and greatly strengthen its ability to meet the explosive growth of storage demand in the country," commented Scott Davis, WD's vice president of worldwide channel sales. "We expect significant improvements in turnaround time and service for our customers in Brazil. Initial customer shipments are planned by the end of October."
WD, one of the storage industry's pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company designs and produces reliable, high-performance hard drives and solid state drives that keep users' data accessible and secure from loss. Its advanced technologies are configured into applications for client and enterprise computing, embedded systems and consumer electronics, as well as its own consumer storage and media products.
WD was founded in 1970. The company's storage products are marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company's website (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the anticipated benefits and results of WD's manufacturing operation in Brazil and other investments in high-growth markets, WD's ability to meet customer demand in Brazil, improvements in turnaround time and service for customers in Brazil, and the anticipated commencement date of shipments from Brazil. These forward-looking statements are based on WD's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, including business conditions generally and other risks and uncertainties listed in WD's recent Form 10-K filed with the SEC on August 13, 2010, to which your attention is directed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and WD undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
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