EXCLUSIVE: Powermove Snare Toshiba TV Brand
On the day that Toshiba announced that they are getting out of appliances worldwide, Adelaide based distributor Powermove told retailers that they have snared the rights to distribute Toshiba branded TV’s in Australia.
The move comes after Toshiba Australia management made a botch, of selling Toshiba TV’s in Australia resulting in the Company quitting the Australian market 18 months ago despite having an excellent TV range.
Then shortly afterwards Toshiba Corporation announced that they were getting out of TV’s all together after cutting a deal with Chinese TV manufacturer Skyworth.
Earlier this month we announced that Harvey Norman was in discussions with Skyworth to sell the Toshiba range in Australia, however the deal to sell the range in Australia has been won by Powermove who has hired former Harvey Norman General Manager, Nigel Dent, as General Manager of TV’s and business development.
According to sources Harvey Norman is still keen to get the Toshiba TV range exclusive, Dent has told ChannelNews that the range which will initally consist of budget TV’s will be made available to multiple retailers.
Crawford Giles, Powermove Managing Director said that the rights deal will come into effect from the 1st of April with product set to be shipped in the last quarter of 2016.
Giles said “The “Toshiba” brand has a heritage that spans over 100 years, Skyworth is manufacturing over 14 million TV sets per annum and we feel something special will be on offer for consumers very soon in Australia.”
At this stage it’s not known whether Toshiba who has also exited the consumer PC market in Australia, the global appliance and TV markets will have any say in the design of the TV’s.
On Friday Toshiba, who are fighting to control costs after corrupt directors were exposed in an accounting scandal confirmed it will sell a controlling stake in its home appliance business to Chinese Company Midea.
In Australia the Company is now facing the real possibility that more than 50% of their staff will be trenched after they also announced the sale of their medical division to Canon.
move could pressure other Chinese rivals, most notably Gree, to follow in the footsteps of Midea and Haier, which is also in the process of buying General Electric’s appliance business.
Japan INC is in trouble with several of their large technology Companies now cutting dals with Chinese Companies in an effort to survive.
From a bigger perspective, this particular trend looks a bit like what happened several decades ago when Japanese Companies despite having the best plasma TV technology utterly screwed up due to poor marketing.
Back then Companies like Fujitsu, NEC, and Pioneer were forced to sell their TV assets.
That trend saw Asian buyers purchase big western brands in the fading TV Japanese TV industry.
Fast forward to 2016 and it’s the Chinese now moving in to buy Japanese TV assets.
In the appliance market where Toshiba did not compete in Australia, Haier has been the most aggressive, but has relatively little to show for its efforts despite years of trying to enter big markets like the U.S.
In Australia the Chinese Company acquired Fisher and Paykel.
The biggest problem for the Chinese companies is their lack of experience at building brands, and many are now hoping to solve that problem by purchasing well-establish western names like Toshiba and Sharp.
Toshiba has been under pressure to sell some of its non-core units following an earlier $1.3 billion accounting scandal.
Last year it sold two of its China-based appliance factories to local TV maker Skyworth who has cut a deal with Powermove.
Now Midea says it has signed a memorandum of understanding to buy a majority stake of Toshiba’s home appliance business.
Midea’s announcement notes that the two sides have worked together for 20 years, though no financial details were given.
Japanese media said the deal could be worth billions of yen, which probably translates to a relatively modest amount worth less than $100 million.
That’s not too difficult to believe, since Toshiba’s appliance business is losing money like their PC business.
What’s more, I suspect that Midea will probably pay for some or most of this deal with its own stock rather than cash, much the way PC giant Lenovo has done for many of its big global purchases.