"To be really successful in the notebook business, you need a big investment." These may seem like obvious words from Lyndon Tan, OEM manager for Dual Group in Taipei, but many small manufacturers have foundered for want of capital. Not so for the Dual Group, which will increase it's Taiwan-based manufacturing capacity almost six-fold, thanks to investing partners.
Following capital investment from Nankang Tire, Solomon and Kuo-Feng Corporation in the first half of this year, Dual will increase its potential output of notebooks from its current 6000 units per month to 35,000 units per month when it moves to new manufacturing premises in Wu-Ku, Taipei in September/October. This will be followed by another move to a purpose-built manufacturing facility in 1999, which should lift production capacity to 60,000 units per month.
Dual's operations in Australia, out of Burwood in Victoria, currently account for 8 per cent of global business (the European market dominates with over 40 per cent of revenue), but Australia remains an important market. At the moment, the company is concentrating on building brand awareness and a total hardware solution for local customers, by distributing the servers, desktops and notebooks of US-based Everex Systems.
"The Australian market is quite separate from the rest of the world," commented Tan, adding that some companies use the local market only as a dumping ground for products. "We are serious resellers in Australia; maybe in the future we will do some sort of manufacturing."