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IS Hitachi In Or Out Of OZ Whitegoods Market?

With Sharp tipped to be set to exit the Australian appliance market, arch rival Hitachi, is believed to be also looking at getting out of the Australian whitegoods market which is currently via Tempo who is the current distributor of Hitachi TV’s and whitegoods.

ChannelNews has been told that Hitachi management in Australia have told retailers that they are not able to manufacture premium whitegoods for Australia because of modifications that are needed for this market.

At the same time, we have been told by Hitachi insiders that Hitachi Australia is scoping the idea of selling direct.

Recently Hitachi who exited the Australian TV market after a falling out with Harvey Norman over standard HD vs Full HD TV’s hired Jason Oh as their National Business Development Manager, White Goods.

His last job was as National Product and Sales Manager at Tempo where he worked on the Hitachi business.

Oh has had a succession of jobs in the consumer electronics industry.

During the past 10 years he has worked twice for Laser Corporation, Imation, Betta Electrical at Chatswood, Sanyo for one year as well as for Sydney Hi Fi.

Oh claims that in his new role at Hitachi his brief is to visit stores where Hitachi products are sold and to support Tempo.

However, insiders have told ChannelNews that Oh has been bought on board because local Hitachi Australia management want to explore the concept of selling direct as opposed to going through a distributor, this is a move that has failed in the past for Hitachi.

It also appears to have failed for Sharp who are now facing an uncertain future following the acquisition of Sharp by Taiwanese Company Foxconn.

According to Hitachi sources Hitachi Japan is struggling to deliver certain models of overseas whitegoods for the Australian market due to the need for local modifications.

Tempo have refused to comment on this story.

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