By Patrick Avenell

Viano is a small town of 3,000 people in northern Italy, around 100 kilometres west of Bologna. Viano is also the name of the latest consumer electronics brand to launch in Australia, manufactured and distributed by the Sydney-based Vivo International.

Fabio Grassia, CEO of Vivo International, chose the Viano name in honour of his wife’s family, several members of which still live in the pleasant farming town.

The launch of the Viano range, which includes home entertainments products and an Android tablet, is the first stage of a new ‘brand stable’ strategy of Grassia. He also manufactures and distributes the Nuovo brand for Coles and recently purchased six brands from the receivers of WOW Sight & Sound.

“The new Viano brand will be on virtually everything,” Grassia said. “The TVs that are already on the market — LCDs, LEDs and plasmas, home theatres, DVD players, Blu-ray Players, 2.1 speaker systems for computers, and the Android tablet that is coming out next month.

“We have TVs in Big W and Dick Smith while the tablet will be sold in Metcash stores, mainly IGA.”

Grassia hasn’t yet finalised his plans for the WOW brands, which include Linkman, Vue, Soho Pro and Nashi, though he has signalled his desire to work with retailers to take over their house brand logistics.

“I have a joint venture interest in a TV factory in China and I know all the owners of the other factories I source from,” he said. “We can handle everything for a retailer — specifications, manufacturing, warranties — and we’re based in Sydney so we’re easy to stay in contact with.”

The new Viano 10.1-inch touchscreen tablet will go on sale next month for “around $299”. Features include Wi-Fi connectivity (no 3G), Android 4.0, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage and front and rear cameras.

The new Viano tablet will be sold in IGA supermarkets.