Motorola Joins Proview In Video Display Venture

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Motorola has reached an agreement with Proview International Holdings to begin the manufacturing and distribution of video displays and other CE devices that will bring the Motorola connected home concept and a line of Motorola-branded electronics products to China, Europe and the Americas.

The company said the launch in China, which will begin in late 2003, would mark the start of a phased rollout to territories worldwide. The first products for the U.S. market will be rolled out next year, said John Burke, Motorola Broadband Consumer Solutions general manager.

Rick Calacci, who recently resigned as GM of Sharp Consumer Electronics to relocate to the Midwest, was named president of Moxell Americas, which Proview set up as a sales and marketing company for Motorola-branded products in the United States, Canada, South America, Central America and Mexico.

Calacci will work out of offices in the Chicago area, but his staff will be based in Proview's offices, here.

He said Moxell USA's sales operations will operate independently of the existing sales teams of Proview and Motorola. Proview, which has international headquarters in Hong Kong, currently sells lines of PC monitors under the Mag, Proview, Sylvania and Xerox brands.

Under the deal, Motorola and Proview will jointly develop advanced video display solutions for the consumer market. Initial products will include LCD computer displays and LCD and plasma televisions, automotive video, as well as CD/DVD players, recorders and drives. Prices and exact feature sets were not disclosed.

Calacci said products in the U.S. line would be "value-added," and not commodity, price-driven items that have fueled many newcomers with Chinese-made goods. He said Moxell will "partner only with those retailers who share this vision and who are committed to support the full breath of our product offerings. We will be clearly focused on all aspects of the wholesale, retail and consumer marketing/sales process." Distribution will be primarily direct, he added.

"The retailing landscape today is faced with cut-throat discounting of major brands that are all chasing unrealistic market share goals in commodity business segments," Calacci said. "This practice has forced those same retailers to partner with fewer manufacturers who can deliver a profitable value added line up of products. Enter Motorola!"

Moxell will unveil early products for prospective retail accounts at the Venetian in Las Vegas during CES, although he added it was too late to register as a CEA member and CES exhibitor for the show.

He called the deal with Motorola "more than just a brand licensing arrangement," adding that Motorola will have input into research and development of Motorola-branded CE devices, and Moxell will have the ability to take Motorola technologies from other company sectors for combination products – such as digital cable-ready TVs.

Motorola said the new display products would support entertainment applications, as well as digital content access and control via wired or wireless integration with connected devices.

Proview International Holdings is a publicly held corporation based in Hong Kong. It is considered "one of the top five display manufacturers in the world," according to a company statement.

Reports in the Chinese press said Proview is currently capable of manufacturing 10 million CRT monitors and 4.5 million LCD monitors a year.

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