Asahi Glass to cut staff in chemical division

Under its business plan, dubbed “shrink to grow“ Japanese glassmaker Asahi Glass is redeveloping its domestic construction glass business and chlor alkali business, while on the other hand strengthe…

Under its business plan, dubbed “shrink to grow“ Japanese glassmaker Asahi Glass is redeveloping its domestic construction glass business and chlor alkali business, while on the other hand strengthening and expanding its electronics and display and fluorine businesses, which are positioned as core businesses. However, since the middle of 2001 we have seen progress in the increasingly severe IT recession and other environmental changes which act as preconditions for growth, and it has become increasingly necessary to partially revise the plan and add additional measures. As a result, the company has decided to further promote structural reform as an emergency measure. Firstly, the Funabashi Plant will withdraw from the CRT glass bulb business by the end of 2003. This is because domestic demand is expected to drop to one-sixth of 1990 levels by 2002 due to customers“ withdrawal from business and transfer of production overseas, and there is a massive oversupply on the world market. With the closing of the Funabashi Plant, domestic CRT glass bulb production will be carried out only at the Takasago Plant (Hyogo Prefecture), and the company will work to develop an optimum manufacturing framework between bases in Southeast Asia, South Korea and China in the future. The handling of employees and use of the old site after the closing of the plant have yet to be determined. In addition, Asahi Glass intends to cut 150 executive staff from its chemical division in October, mainly at the head office. In conjunction with this move the organization will be dramatically simplified in an effort to slim down operations. With regard to the pending issue of the contraction of the general-purpose business including chlor alkali, agreement cannot be reached with business partners located in the same industrial complexes, so cost-cutting will be accelerated under the existing framework for the time being. On the other hand, the company will promote the further strengthening of its fluorine business.