December 5, 1996 2:00 PM ET

TI to outsource TravelMate notebooks
By Margaret Kane

  Texas Instruments Inc. plans to outsource manufacture of its TravelMate notebooks and could lay off as many as 500 workers.

The company will slow manufacturing at the Temple, Texas, plant where it produces TravelMates. TI already outsources manufacturing of its Extensa notebook line.

At the same time, TI said the outsourcing move will result in an undetermined charge against fourth-quarter earnings.

Steve Lair, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, said the move will allow the company to be more flexible.

"Rather than play in the mud and fight the megahertz race, we're shifting from being a box mover to more a of a solutions provider," he said. "If you're going to go into that kind of business, you need to be more flexible and turn what you're doing quicker."

He said the company is working with several companies to provide the manufacturing.

About 200 employees will initially be affected by the reduction, which will take place over six months. The total number of workers who could be laid off is 500, about 25 percent of the personal productivity products division. The Dallas-based company said it would try to relocate the employees within other TI business units.

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