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SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY : Toshiba America Plans to Increase Irvine Laptop Computer Production

Compiled by David Olmos, Times staff writer

Toshiba America says it plans to boost production of its laptop computers in Irvine by 50% because of growing demand for the product.

Toshiba, which began local production of laptops in 1987, will boost its output to 15,000 units a month from 10,000 units, according to company spokeswoman Linda Dozier.

Dozier said she did not know if the increased production will boost Toshiba’s employment in Orange County. Toshiba’s Industrial Electronics Sector employs 750 people in Irvine and several hundred more at other county operations.

More than 680,000 laptops were sold in 1988, triple the number just 2 years ago, according to Dataquest, a Silicon Valley market research firm. For 1989, the firm projects sales of 1.1 million machines.

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Toshiba speeded its previously announced plans to move laptop production to Irvine after President Reagan imposed 100% tariffs on certain Japanese computer imports in 1987. The tariffs remain in effect.


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