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COMMENT: Toshiba Brand Set To Go Downhill As Hisense Look For Street Cred

The decision by Hisense to acquire the rights to the Toshiba TV for $114M brand smacks of desperation on the part of the Chinese TV maker, whose brand lacks any form of premium pedigree which is why they are looking to invest in a Japanese brand over their own.

Here is a Company who on one hand brags about the success of their brand but on the other hand are buying into the pedigree of another Japanese brand simply to get a place at the premium TV table.

They are a Company don’t want to invest in marketing their TV brand like Samsung or LG, they prefer to bung dollars to a retailer and let the retailer sell their products using discounts and offers.

The reality is that Hisense is a cheap bottom end brand that is more about discounting and cheap components than a brand that can deliver up alongside the likes of Sony, LG, Samsung and Panasonic who attract a significantly better average selling price than Hisense.

3 years ago, this Chinese Company were so desperate to get traction in the US market that they cut a deal with Sharp, a Company that like Toshiba is today, were on their knees desperate for cash and close to going broke.

3 years on Sharp who has been taken over by Foxconn the maker of iPhones for Apple are now asking for their brand back.

Within months of Foxconn taking over the Sharp TV brand the Taiwanese Company took legal action in a US Court, claiming that Hisense was “destroying” the reputation of the Sharp brand by manufacturing inferior TV’s.

Sharp said when they lodged their legal claim that the Hisense made TV’s bearing the Sharp name broke US rules on electromagnetic emissions and that Hisense had made false claims about picture quality. In Australia Hisense TV’s are not Netflix approved similar to TV’s made by Samsung, Panasonic, Sony or LG.

Documents lodged in the US claim that the Hisense-made TV sets of breaking emission guidelines, Sharp said the devices also broke Federal Trade Commission rules on pictures sizes and did not meet wider industry standards covering device safety.

Sharp’s aid its brand was at risk of being “destroyed” by the “shoddily manufactured” TV sets by the time the five-year deal ended.

The big question now is whether Hisense is going to destroy the reputation that Toshiba has built up for their TV brand by simply wrapping a Hisense made panel around the Toshiba brand name.

Currently Toshiba TV’s are made by Vestel in Europe and Skyworks in China, the 2018 range shown at IFA in Germany was excellent.

The reason that Hisense chose to license the Sharp name is because US consumers rejected the Hisense brand. They saw it for what it is a cheap bottom end brand.

Globally Hisense has seen their share of the global TV market fall when compared to the growth achieved by arch rival TCL.

Hisense Australia’s Head of Marketing Andre Iannuzzi who denied earlier this year that he was engaging in buying market share has not commented on the Toshiba brand name acquisition or whether the brand name will be used in Australia.

In their latest financial filings has lifted their revenues from $150M to $224M in Australia but despite this they have only managed to deliver a $4.5% profit.

More telling is the last GFK data for the Australian TV market that shows that when compared to LG, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic Hisense has one of the worst average selling price for their TV’s.

A major seller of TV’s on Amazon ChannelNews understands that the Hisense TV’s being sold on Amazon will be significantly cheaper than Hisense TV’s currently being sold at Harvey Norman or JB Hi Fi.
ChannelNews understands that Hisense has been engaging with Amazon to determine which TV’s and appliances will be ranged in online in Australia.




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