Las Vegas — Sharp and Pioneer said it was unlikely either company would introduce products in the United States this year based on their co-development deal signed last fall.
Executives with both companies told TWICE this week at International CES that strategies were not set as yet for product introductions. Sharp and Pioneer signed an agreement last September to form capital and business ties, with plans to join forces on the development of next-generation consumer electronics products. Pioneer issued new shares to Sharp, making it the top shareholder of Pioneer, with an over 14 percent stake.
Tom Haga, chairman/CEO of Pioneer Electronics USA, told TWICE at CES that plans for product introductions based on the agreement were not set and a decision was not made on which categories Pioneer and Sharp will collaborate on.
But Haga added, “I don’t expect any product introductions in the U.S. during the 2008 calendar year.” Europe should see the first introduction later this year, and plans for Japan were “unclear,” he said.
Mike Troetti, president of Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America, agreed that products for the U.S. market based on the agreement would not likely appear here this year. He commented that both companies have to see what is best “for both companies” and what is best for the retail channels they serve.
Haga said that more information may be available at the beginning of the new fiscal year for both companies, April 1.
Last fall the two companies said they will combine their expertise to jointly develop products in next-generation DVDs, audio, car electronics and displays. And industry observers expected Pioneer to begin to market LCD TVs from Sharp, among other collaborations.
When the deal was announced industry executives both here and overseas questioned Sharp’s decision since Pioneer has posted three consecutive years of losses.