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April 2, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Mitsubishi Electric Corp is to form a Personal Computer Division to sell its Apricot Computer branded equipment. The new division will combine the company’s games, multimedia, networked personal computers, notebook, and Infotrade on-line information service with its personal computer business. The sector is set to receive a $200m investment over the next four years. Former Apricot Computers Ltd managing director Peter Horne was appointed president of the division to become the first non-Japanese member of Mitsubishi to head up a division. The company said it aims to increase sales of the Apricot personal computer range by about 20% in 1996 to 250,000 and place itself as a top 15 player in the personal computer and server market by the end of the decade, and top 10 within the next 10 years. The 300-strong staff at its Glenrothes, Scotland manufacturing plant and 100 research and development employees at its Birmingham, UK head office will double over the next four years, and now the company is looking to establish an Asian manufacturing plant outside of Japan to supply its newly-created consumer personal computer market in Japan. The Glenrothes plant should be making 750,000 machines a year within four years. It will still be another 18 months before Mitsubishi attempts to crack the US market, said Horne. The company is in the process of looking for a partner with established distribution channels, but talks have yet to be initiated.

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