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Wednesday, January 24, 2001
Ricoh and Funai Electric to jointly develop and produce optical disk drives

"...Funai Electric and Personal MultiMedia Products Company, an internal company of Ricoh, have agreed to jointly develop and produce CD-RW drives and DVD+RW drives. Accordingly, Funai Electric will start full-scale production and marketing in this area. By combining Ricoh's design and development capabilities with Funai Electric's low-cost mass production systems, the two aim to offer high-performance, affordable machines that take advantage of rocketing demand.

Funai Electric will manufacture CD-RW drives that Ricoh develops and markets. Ricoh will provide technical support to Funai Electric-brand CD-RW models. The two will jointly create DVD+RW drives which are scheduled to be sequentially marketed in summer, 2001. Production will be at Funai Electric's Dong Guan plant in Kuangtung Province, China. Shipments of CD-RW and DVD+RW drives will start in spring and summer 2001, respectively. Aggregate output should exceed one million units in the first year of the alliance.

Funai Electric already makes and markets consumer DVD players to meet the demand of the digital video age. Through this agreement, Funai Electric is eyeing the expansion to DVD video recorders. On the other hand, Ricoh aims to build on its pioneering position in business CD-RW drives by providing high-speed and advanced models and thus becoming a top supplier of DVD+RW machines for office applications..."

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