Hisense Look To Hold On To Sharp TV Deal
Hisense, claims that it has no intention of giving up its license to the Sharp brand this is despite the new owners of the Japanese TV brand claiming that they have every intention of rejuvenating the struggling brand.
Currently Hisense has the rights to the shop brand in the US and South America. At this stage it is not known how long the license lasts but according to sources Foxconn the new owners of the Sharp brand following their $3.9 billion acquisition of the struggling Japanese company has every intention of selling TVs globally. In small markets such as Australia New Zealand and parts of the Asia-Pacific region Foxconn is believed to be looking at a potential distribution model.
Despite having an excellent TV brand in Australia Sharp management lacked the skill to turn it into a competitive brand similar to what Hisense has done in the USA. Last year under the management of Joe Constantino a director at shop Australia the company decided to pull out of the Australian TV market a move that saw revenues slump by over $25 million.
In reaction to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Hisense USA’s issued a statement overnight claiming “Hisense has not been contacted to discuss altering the terms of its licensing agreement with Sharp. Hisense has successfully resuscitated the Sharp TV brand in the Americas and has no intention of ending its agreement with Sharp early. Over the course of the past year Hisense has made the Sharp TV brand relevant again in the Americas with the introduction of 27 new televisions including the brand’s first curved and HDR [high dynamic range] sets, all of which are built with Hisense’s superior technology.”
In the Australian market Hisense is now a serious challenger to both LG and Samsung. In 2015 the company benefited from the exit of Sharp by growing their market share significantly they have also taken market share away from the likes of Sony and several tier 2 TV brands.
The new global CEO of Sharp, Tai Jeng-wu said: “We want to polish Sharp’s brand value by ourselves and make it shine globally.”
Tai reportedly went on to say that he hopes to cancel licensing deals for the Sharp brand on various consumer electronics categories, which the former management had made last year in an effort to prop up the value of the company.
Last year, Hisense acquired licensing rights to the Sharp name and various other trademarks for use on TVs it is now marketing in North and South America.
Tai, who was installed as CEO after Foxconn completed the acquisition of Sharp this month has reportedly begun a large-scale corporate restructuring and renewed brand-building efforts, the move could see the Sharp Corporation subsidiary in Australia restructured with the possibility that their appliance and TV business could go to a distributor or a new management team is bought in to run the business properly. Arch rival Hitachi has moved quickly to take Sharp on in the appliance market. Currently the company is putting in place a sales and marketing along with a distribution operation with a view to launching the first of the new products next year.