By Matthew Henry
SYDNEY: Philips Australia has revealed a bold initiative to move production of its LCD TVs from Asia back to Europe for its upcoming Design Collection range, due out in July.
Current.com.au can exclusively reveal the Dutch company’s Australian subsidiary has broken ranks with fellow Asia Pacific Philips businesses, which will continue source product from Asian factories.
Philips Australia has imported some European models in recent years including the high-end Aurea LCD. However, the entire next range of LCD TVs will be sourced from factories in Brugge, Poland and Hungary.
The move, which will give Philips ‘made in Europe’ bragging rights, is part of the company’s strategy for the Australian market where it seeks to protect its reputation as a premium TV supplier by limited distribution and unique technologies.
“You’ve got to have a strategy in this market, and you can go in for the mass volume and market share drive, or you can go for differentiation,” Philips Electronics Australia general manager, Matthew Moran, told Current.com.au.
“We’ve always tried to differentiate with things like Ambilight and Pixel Plus; we’ve differentiated through our distribution strategy, trying to add value and be more profitable for our retail partners. This is another way we can do that,” he said.
The company has not commented on pricing for the new models, which could be critical in the cut-throat LCD category where margins are tight and prices have been in decline.
However, Moran believes consumers still recognise a clear value proposition in European brands. He sees this as an opportunity to elevate Philips to the status of a BMW or Mercedes while adding value back into the LCD market.
“There are a lot of consumers out there who still see Philips with a European heritage, and this helps make that message stronger,” he said.
Philips will conduct a national roadshow mid-May to showcase the new range to retailers.
Globally, Philips’ embattled TV business has been a drain on the company’s finances in recent years.
But the company said earlier this year it will pitch its new Design Collection LCD range to a different type of customer, targeting the fashion-conscious and women in particular.