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JVC, Kenwood U.S. Subsidiaries Merging

UPDATE! New York – JVC Kenwood will merge its two U.S. subsidiaries — JVC Americas and Kenwood USA — into a single subsidiary, effective Oct. 1.

JVC and Kenwood merged in 2008 to become JVC Kenwood, and the combined company has already merged its separate subsidiaries in other countries.

In a prepared statement, the company said JVC and Kenwood products will remain “two distinct brands in their respective user markets and sales channels.”

The merger “follows the successful integration of JVC and Kenwood operations throughout the world and will make both brands more competitive here in the all-important U.S. marketplace,” said Kenwood USA president/CEO Ryo Mizuhara.

JVC Americas president/CEO Junji Kobayashi said the merger “will allow us to operate more efficiently by sharing resources and standardizing processes.”

“This merger is part of the continued global integration strategy that JVC Kenwood Corporation first implemented in 2012,” the company added in a prepared statement. “This integration continues JVC Kenwood Corporation’s worldwide process that will result in a more efficient organization and further elevate the equity of the JVC and Kenwood brands.”

The merger affects the JVC Consumer A/V group in Wayne, N.J., JVC Mobile Entertainment of Long Beach, Calif., Kenwood USA’s aftermarket car electronics business in Long Beach, and Kenwood’s mobile radio group in Suwanee, Ga. The JVC and Kenwood car electronics groups have been operating out of the same building in Long Beach since mid-2011.

 With the merger, all back-office systems will be consolidated, including IT, accounting, payroll, and other areas, a spokesman said, “to improve efficiencies, reduce expense, and provide the ability to report as a single entity.”

The JVC Consumer A/V Group and the JVC Mobile Entertainment group previously shared back-office functions.

Customer support for JVC and Kenwood products had already been consolidated “for quite some time,” the spokeman added.

The spokesman also said the JVC A/V Group intends to maintain an office in New Jersey but didn’t say it would remain in Wayne, N.J.

As for mangaement changes at JVC Mobile and Kenwood, the spokesman said, “no decisions have been made about any management changes.”

The merger announcement follows the departure of Karl Bearnarth, senior marketing VP for the JVC consumer A/V group, who left the company to pursue other opportunities, the company said. “It was his decision to leave to pursue other opportunities,” a spokesman said yesterday.