Mere days after Samsung announced a short-term suspension of operations at a key TV factory in Mexico, the company extended the measure by a significant degree. The Tijuana assembly plant was closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the country and today’s shutdown extension is unlikely to be its last.
Samsung appears to be monitoring the situation on a daily basis, which illustrates the factory’s importance to its overall television strategy in North America. Its annual output amounts to around 19 million TVs sold across the continent, which is a billion-dollar business for Samsung.
Samsung keen to resume TV operations in Mexico
More specifically, last week’s suspension was only meant to last until today but Samsung has now prolonged plans to reopen the facility until May 3rd. Given how the COVID-19 pandemic is still going strong and Mexico’s northern neighbors have the highest number of reported cases out of any country in the world, this cessation is expected to continue being pushed back. For reference, the Mexican government recently extended the country’s social distancing measures meant to slow down the spread of the pandemic until May 30th, so it’s unlikely non-essential businesses will be opened beforehand.
The closure of the Tijuana plant is the first major curb this facility hit since the turn of the century, when Samsung halted its expansion operations in reaction to the East Asian crisis of 1997. The company’s international rival, LG, announced similar measures for its Mexican TV factory in Reynosa, and has also mimicked Samsung’s extension.