BPL, Sanyo Joint Venture Rules Out CTVs
Aug 25, 2005
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The equal joint venture between Japanese the consumer electronics maker Sanyo and BPL, the ailing domestic consumer durables company, has called off plans for a co-branded foray into the color television (CTV) market.

Instead, the JV will roll out CTVs under Sanyo and BPL brands separately, informed sources said. Sanyo will be the topline brand operating in the mid- to upper-price segments. Sanyo is also poised to hit the market with an entire range of home appliances, including refrigerators, washing machines and microwaves, besides CDMA handsets.

Earlier, the 50:50 JV had decided to enter the market taking the Sanyo-BPL co-branded route. BPL chairman and managing director Ajit Nambiar had stated that the co-branded CTVs would aim for the top slot in three years. In 2004, BPL hived off its mainstay CTV business into a joint venture with Sanyo, unlocking U.S. $80 million in the process.

BPL, which survived the early shake-outs in the industry, emerged the undisputed CTV leader in the late 80s with market share crossing 25 percent at its peak. It came under pressure towards the late 90s owing to the group's financial troubles.

The much-delayed JV is slated to commence operations next month after BPL's corporate debt restructuring received the court's nod in recent days. The combination with Nambiar as CEO and Sanyo's Keiji Oshima as COO is planning a nation-wide dealers meet in early September prior to hitting the market with the products.

While the BPL hands are heading the sales and marketing functions of the company, Sanyo is expected to effect more recruitments as operations gain momentum. (The Economic Times)

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