Sony has said that they are unable to comment on claims that they are set to kick off a massive TV price war, due to executives being in a quiet period prior to Sony Corporation’s earnings announcement in two weeks time.
However, it appears that it’s okay to talk about a new manufacturing operation in Europe.
Company executives have told ChannelNews and SmartHouse privately that the claims are “Bullshit”. We are not only the market leader in Australia we have been able to hold our margins because Bravia is seen as a premium brand. Some people are angry about this story”.
They added “Why should we discount we leave that to the likes of LG and others who have been forced to do this in an effort to compete with Samsung and Sony. During the key December January period we grabbed 40% market share because we offered a PS3 console for free. This offer was built into our pricing”.
Yesterday ChannelNews revealed a DisplayBank report that said that Sony was set to cut the price of LCD TV’s by as much as 25% in an effort to increase market share. They also said that Sony’s Bravia TV division was still not profitable despite being a market leader in several Countries.
Yesterday Sony said that it plans to double its annual production of Bravia LCD TVs manufactured at a new plant in Slovakia from two million in fiscal 2007 to four million by the end of this calendar year.
According to VNU, The Slovak factory will become Sony’s largest producer of LCD TVs, and the company has pledged to increase staff levels from 2,300 to 3,500 to cope with the extra demand.
Sony first began producing Bravia LCD TVs in Trnava, Slovakia in April 2006, but that plant quickly reached capacity and could not be expanded.
The company then built the Nitra Technology Centre in Nitra, 40km east of Trnava, and relocated production to the new plant in August 2007.
“Sales of Bravia TVs are continuing to grow in double-digits in many countries,” said Fujio Nishida, president of Sony Europe.
Sony’s Slovakian operations manufactured around two million Bravia LCD TVs in fiscal 2007, and Sony is doubling capacity to four million sets by expanding the production capability in Nitra.
“Bravia holds the key for further growth of Sony’s electronics business,” said Ryoji Chubachi, president and electronics chief executive at Sony.
The Nitra Technology Centre is set to produce all the main Bravia LCD TV line-ups from the standard right through to the high-end models.
Sony is also building a logistics centre adjacent to the Nitra site to help better manage distribution.