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Tandy, Japanese Will Make PCs

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Tandy Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. of Japan announced Wednesday that they had formed a joint venture company to manufacture portable personal computers.

The move deepens the already close relationship between the world’s largest consumer electronics firm and one of America’s premier electronics manufacturers and retailers. The arrangement will give Tandy more secure access to components and provide both firms with greater flexibility in their global manufacturing strategies.

The new company, dubbed PTCC Inc., will begin manufacturing laptop and notebook-type personal computers in February at a Tandy facility in Fort Worth, Tex. The products will be sold by Tandy under the Tandy and Grid labels and by Matsushita under the Panasonic and Victor names. They will also be sold to other companies for resale under their names.

Tandy, which owns the Radio Shack chain, became the first American company to build computers for a Japanese firm when it began manufacturing for Panasonic in 1989. Matsushita is a major component supplier to Tandy, and the companies have also worked together in supporting consumer electronics products such as the new digital compact cassette audio system.

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The 50-50 joint venture will be headed by Bryce Drake, previously general manager of computer manufacturing for Tandy. Both companies will license technology to the joint venture, and will both have rights to technology developed by it.

Although initial operations will be in Texas, the joint venture will likely have operations in Japan and elsewhere in the future, a Tandy official said.


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