The big four TV brands in Australia, Samsung, Panasonic LG and Sony, are set to compete head on with a new kid on the block who already has bragging rights to the fact that over 100 million people a night turn on one of their TV. And as for price “bring it on they say”.Changhong is the #1 TV in China, and unlike Sony, they actually own their own TV manufacturing operations and are one of only four Companies in the world that have their own plasma manufacturing plant.
In Australia they have already signed up Harvey Norman and the Good Guys to sell their product which will include a new wafer thin 55″ LED back light TV.
At an event in Melbourne last night the Company rolled new TV’s air conditioners and refrigeration with Changhong CEO David Shen warning that his Company has no intention of being a “tier two” vendor.
“We are targeting the top four brands as we have equal or superior product to what they are offering. We also have the advantage that we manufacture all our own TV products unlike Sony and we can compete on price which we intend to do”.
“Right now the consumer in Australia does not know our brand but they will. And when they do compare our brand and see the price they will realise that we are serious about this market”. said Shen.
“Five years Vizio was an unknown brand in the US market, they were an Asian brand without the pedigree that Changhong has. Today they are #1 in the giant US market ahead of brands like Sony, Panasonic or LG” said a senior Harvey Norman executive at last night’s event.
Mike Cacciola a former senior executive at Samsung and Panasonic, who is now the National Sales Manager at Changhong Electric in Australia said” I remember when Samsung Australia had only a handful of staff and was an unknown Korean brand. We can do what they have done. We have the manufacturing and the technology, Changhong has over 72,000 employees and they have recently invested $2.2 billion in a new TV manufacturing plant. The Company also has over 7,000 R&D personnel and we are the #1 TV brand in China in value”.
Shen said “We are not going to invest in sporting sponsorship, we are not ready. We are investing in the Channel and we are working on getting our product mix right. We have the technology and the design team. We have Gordon Brue who is a leading designer who used to work for Samsung. We won the Gold Medal for the Best TV at IFA which is the biggest consumer electronics show in Europe last year”.
“We are starting slowly but I am confident that we can build the brand in Australia to be a major TV provider. We will launch 3D TV’s later this year and we are looking at several new product categories. We are also launching a new range of budget appliances and next year we will move into the premium end of appliance market in particular in the refrigeration market.”
On show last night for the first time in Australia was a new range of stylish air conditioning units that will be launched later this year. Built into the devices which come in a variety of colours are sensors for temperature, humidity and an environmental reading that reads air quality. It can even tell whether anyone is smoking in a room”.
Also on show last night were eight new TV’s ranging in size from 19″ to 55″ plasma and LED models.