Hitachi Australia claim that they know nothing about the launch of a new TV ranged branded Hitachi which is being sold to retailers like Harvey Norman by local distributor Tempo Australia, who investigations by ChannelNews reveal are using a low cost Chinese Company to manufacture TV’s that have no design or manufacturing involvement with the well-known Japanese Company.Tempo Australia claim that Hitachi Japan are aware of the new TV models which are not designed or manufactured by Hitachi who quite the Australian market two years ago due to poor sales and after being accused of misleading consumers by Harvey Norman over the Full HD status of an Hitachi branded plasma TV.
Tempo has not nominated who or what division of Hitachi Japan, have given them approval to sell Hitachi branded TV’s in Australia. Several calls to Tempo in Australia have not been returned.
A spokesperson for Hitachi Australia said that they have not been told about the launch and that as far as they are concerned Hitachi has no involvement in the design, manufacture or “the quality” of the new Hitachi branded TV’s.
Nor do they offer support for the new TV’s.
Last month a spokesperson for Hitachi Australia said “We became aware that retailers were being offered a Hitachi TV in Australia, we also read about it on the SmartHouse web site. This is a worrying development”.
In the past Tempo which is an Australian Company has fallen foul of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the NSW Office of Fair Trading for past product failures.
A new Hitachi page on the Tempo web site reveals several TV’s that are linked with the Hitachi brand name. Tempo even includes a reference to the Hitachi brand strategy despite the fact that Hitachi globally has no involvement with the Company.
The LED panels advertised include a 46 and 42 inch Full HD 1080p models. The TV’s are 100 hertz and come with USB recording and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. The 46-inch model (LE46EC05AU) is RRP $1,299 and the 42-inch model (LE42EC05AU) is RRP $999.
The LCD range is also Full HD and is available in 42-inch (L42FC05AU, RRP $799) and 32-inch models (L32FC05AU, RRP $499). Both of these models have USB recording.
A senior executive of a major consumer electronics Company who for many years was a senior executive at Panasonic said “This is a dangerous trend. For all intends and purposes a consumer walking into a retail store is going to think that they are buying a Hitachi TV. They are not. What they will find if they properly investigate the product is that they are being sold a low cost TV made in a Chinese factory by a Company that is peddling products using a brand name they have purchased”.
“Retailers love it because they can sell a product branded as Hitachi knowing that they have a lot of margin in the product. Consumers don’t know the difference. They think they are getting a TV made by the Japanese Company Hitachi who has an excellent reputation in Australia. All they have to do is look at the TV manual and what they will discover is Chinese symbols and information that has been translated into English using something like Google Translate”.
“We don’t sell TVs but this is a dangerous trend as it could tantamount to misleading consumers as the components are not the same quality as prior Hitachi TV’s”.
In a statement issued yesterday Tempo (AUST) Pty Ltd said that they appointed to distribute the Hitachi TV product range in Australia through a network of Australia’s leading electrical retailers,” said the spokesperson.
“Tempo is delighted to be Hitachi’s exclusive distributor for the innovative TV range. The range embodies Hitachi’s commitment to environmentally friendly product that supports consumer’s quality of life as well as the sustainability of society.”