By James Wells

SYDNEY: Hitachi has announced it will open a new customer support and service department on April 1, the day after the consumer products division closes its doors.

The new division will be called the Consumer Products Service Centre and will support customers and retailers for warranty claims and spare parts and technical support and service centre management.

The division will employ existing Hitachi staff members Michael Ly and Joe Bula.

“Both of these employees have an incredible amount of experience in the industry,” said Hitachi general manager Geoff Hannaford.

“Joe Bula has over 25 years experience in the industry after many years with Philips, as well as the last three years with Hitachi. Michael Ly was our senior service technician with the company, by far the most knowledgeable of our technical team. We have certainly placed the right people in to run that department,” Hannaford said.

“I really want everyone to be reassured – our customers, consumers or retailers – that we will exit the market professionally and for them not to exercise panic. The managing director has put aside funds to honour commitments in the marketplace. It is important that we now speak to retailers and manage any concerns consumers have. This is not an announcement and an exit where everyone is left high and dry without any support,” Hannaford said.