Consumers can rest assured that though Hitachi products will disappear from the shelves within months, their purchases will continue to be supported by full warranty, spare parts and customer service into the future, said a spokesperson from Hitachi today.
Following the shocking news on Monday that the Japanese consumer electronics brand was closing up shop in Australia, a slew of concerned consumers have contacted SmartHouse worried that their recent purchases are now proving a mistake, if the company disappears from the market altogether.
Not so, says Hitachi Australia general manager – marketing and sales, Geoff Hannaford.
“Our number one priority is to look after our customers, staff and business partners,” he told SmartHouse in an exclusive interview this morning.
“When the Hitachi consumer division closes officially on March 31 2008, a new department will begin operating on 1 April 2008 to provide on-going warranties, technical support, spare-parts and to manage our service centres.”
In fact, Hitachi’s Australian staff has reacted well to the news that 35 of the 93 staff members would lose their jobs at the end of February, with some staying on until the end of March to tie up loose ends.
“Everyone’s a bit shocked but in the end, the way a company handles its exit from the market is more important than how and why it delivers the news of its departure,” said Hannaford.
While the company will distribute the last of its electronics stock to retailers by the end of February, in reality these products may take until at least May or June to sell-through to customers. However, Hannaford says shoppers shouldn’t be deterred from purchasing Hitachi products.
“Anyone who has invested in Hitachi will be taken care of,” he said.
“Consumers will still get the support they need in the future, meaning things will stay relatively the same for our consumer customers. The only downside is that if they enjoy our products, they won’t be able to replace them with new Hitachi models in the future.”