COMMENT: Why Bother With Toshiba Appliances
Sydney based distributor Ayonz has moved to prematurely announce that they will sell Toshiba appliance in Australia in 2020 despite no appliance retailers that ChannelNews has spoken to agreeing to take on the brand and the market already saturated with appliance brands that are struggling to deliver growth.
Ayonz who also distribute the Blaupunkt TV brand which was recently dropped by JB Hi Fi in favour of the TCL manufactured Ffalcon is set to face tough competition from Sharp branded appliances in Australia with a new range set to be rolled out shortly.
The big difference is that Sharp a leading Japanese appliance and TV brand is still involved in the design and manufacturing quality of the Sharp products that will be launched in Australia.
Toshiba on the other hand are a scandal ridden Company who sold off their appliance and TV business to Chinese Companies so that they could generate revenue from licensing, they have even sold off the rights to their notebooks which made the Company famous in Australia.Today Toshiba are not involved in the manufacturing of the goods carrying their name.
When Toshiba Australia a 100% subsidiary of the Japanese Corporation decided to sell Toshiba branded TV’s in Australia they also researched the concept of selling Toshiba appliances from their Singapore based operation however research revealed that consumers did not associate the Toshiba name that was made famous via their notebooks with appliances or even TV’s resulting in the Company failing to launch Toshiba appliances in Australia.
Five years after launching TV’s in Australia Toshiba cut their losses and pulled out of the market in 2015.
They were also forced to pull out of the consumer notebook market as the value of the brand that was under siege globally because of the conglomerate’s $1.3 billion accounting scandal the second in as many years was suddenly questioned.
It was revealed that directors of the troubled Company had been inflating profits and this led to 14,000 job cuts and the Company exiting all manufacturing and design of appliances and TV’s.
Globally the Toshiba appliance brand is controlled by Chinese Company Midea Group who when Toshiba was facing billions in losses cut a deal to take 80.1% share of a business called Toshiba Lifestyle Products & Services. Midea acquired 80% of the Toshiba home appliance business in 2016 and is licensed to use the Toshiba brand worldwide until 2056.
In Australia the bulk of Ayonz products are licensed from Chinese Companies who are using well-known brands from the past to deliver authenticity to a product because their Chinese branded products don’t sell.
In some cases, these Chinese factories are putting known brand on similar products to the ones that are struggling to get traction with consumers when branded with an unknown Chinese brand name.
A classic example is Hisense who were unable to get traction in the US TV market, so they licensed the Sharp brand.
Within months of Hisense manufactured TV’s going on sale branded Sharp the Japanese Company who are extremly strict over the use of their name and more so the quality of the product carrying their name sued to curtail the deal.
In a lawsuit, filed in California Sharp said that under Hisense’s management, Sharp-brand televisions sold in the U.S. were “shoddily manufactured” and “in many cases, perceived by consumers as cheap.” Sharp said its brand and trademark were “at risk of being destroyed” by the time the five-year agreement expired.
Finally, Sharp got their brand name back and the deal was torn up only for Hisense to cut a deal with Toshiba who were desperate to generate revenue from the licensing of their name on to TV’s made in a Mexico factory.
This is not the first time that Ayonz has found themselves involved in a controversial brand.
Earlier this year we revealed that Japanese Company Seiki who licence their brand to Ayonz saw their former Australian distribution operation placed into liquidation with questions asked about warranty claims on Seiki TV’s following the Companies multi-million dollar collapse which took place in 2017.
At a general meeting of the Company earlier t6his year it was resolved that the former Seiki Australia entity be wound up.
Seiki international (Brand owner of the Seiki brand) appointed Ayonz as their Australia/New Zealand Distributor in late 2017.
Currently Seiki products are being sold in Australia by Appliances Online In 2018, Ayonz was appointed distributor of Toshiba audio in Australia.