Sharp Exits Consumer TV Market in Americas — Sort of (Updated)

hisensesharpfeat_0731
Reuters reported this morning that Sharp Corporation has decided to exit the TV market in North and South America.

They’ve not been profitable in the TV market in years and after a $2 Billion refinance, they promised to eliminate 5,000 jobs — this was the best and easiest way to do that. Cut the department hemorrhaging money.

But, just as they announced that, it was announced that China’s Hisense Group says they have purchased the rights to the Sharp brand in North and South America. Hisense Group bought all equity and assets of Sharp’s TV factory in Mexico for $23.7 million with rights to use the “Sharp” brand name and all its channel resources in both both regions. This acquisition will have Hisense completely taking over Sharp’s TV business in these regions.

So, what about commercial monitors?

Well, that meeting is being held today at 3 p.m. when Sharp’s USA president and senior vice president of sales will brief the commercial sales team what their future plans are. Sources tell rAVe that they believe that the Pro Monitors as well as the NEW LC60″, LC70″ and LC80″  the “661” Series announced at InfoComm will remain intact.

We will post more information as soon as we know it. Check back later today!

Update #1:

We just had a conversation with Sharp Senior Vice President of Marketing and Operations Mike Marusic and he was kind enough to share all the commercial AV details with our us. So, this deal has nothing to do with the professional or prosumer line of Sharp displays. In fact, every new product launched at InfoComm is still on schedule as announced at the show — including the new 4K line, the 90” and all the AQUOS Board products. Marusic explained that the consumer TVs are manufactured at separate factories and separate production lines.

See also  DPA Microphones Sells to RCF

Update #2:

We have obtained a copy of an internal memo to Sharp employees that was just released — it’s from Toshihiko Fujimoto, Regional Chief Officer for North & South America, Sharp Corporation Chairman & CEO, Sharp Electronics Corporation. If you want to read it, click here [PDF].

So, the summary: Our industry is not affected by this change within Sharp and, in fact, it is likely that Sharp will become a better commercial monitor provider as more resources that may have been spent on the consumer line could now be shifted to support the B2B world.

Sharp’s professional line is here and its AQUOS Board line is here.

 

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..