Man, what a difference a
year few months makes. At the front end of 2008, panel makers the world over were boasting about big investments to expand production lines and live large on Malta. Now, it's tough to go a week without hearing of at least one plant closing. Take Taiwan's AU Optronics, for instance -- in February of this year, it pledged $9.3 billion to build a pair of LCD factories. Now, it's placing those lofty plans on hold, noting that construction on "two new LCD plants" would be delayed by at least six months. According to chairman KY Lee: "One has to use the brakes and slow down a bit on a downhill path." A curious analogy, but we suppose it works.