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Zenith Unveils DTV Sales Promotions

Cognizant of the positive impact zero-percent financing programs had on automobile sales in October and November, Zenith announced aggressive consumer financing and rebate programs on key digital display products, as it attempts to underscore its transforming image into a digital technology leader.

Playing up several cutting-edge digital display products in its lineup, Zenith announced a financing offer requiring nothing down, zero percent interest and no payments until February 2003 on the purchase of its flagship 60W-inch HD-level plasma display panel. The offer is also extended to several new LCD television sets. Zenith said it will use GE Capital to back the financing effort.

Meanwhile, Zenith’s minimum advertised price on the DPDP60W plasma display has been reduced from $24,999 to “under $20,000, said Rick Powers, Zenith sales and marketing senior VP.

“Zero percent financing has been a motivating factor in a lot of industries recently,” Powers said in explaining Zenith’s decision to re-introduce a zero-percent financing offer after staying away from such programs in the recent past. “The key thing is that we are coming in with it just before Christmas time and you have rolled into next year the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. This will greatly increase Zenith visibility as an HDTV leader.”

The offer runs from mid-December through Feb. 28, 2002, and also extends to Zenith’s current 20W-inch and 15W-LCD television sets, model ZLD20A1 ($2,499 street price) and ZLD15A1 ($1,299 street price). The 20W-inch model is enhanced definition TV-capable and includes an NTSC tuner. The 15W-inch model is HDTV-capable and include internal NTSC tuning.

In addition to the financing offer, Zenith is offering a consumer rebate program on its current direct-view CRT HDTV monitor lineup including two 27-inch models, two 32-inch models and two 36-inch models. The rebates, which range from $50-$150 depending on the model, will be offered now through the end of February, Powers said.

Zenith will support the program with coop dealer advertising as well as its own national advertising, Powers said.

Zenith also announced reduced minimum advertised pricing on CRT-rear projection HDTV monitors in the company’s “25 Series.” Effective this month, the street price on the 56W-inch (D56W25) has been trimmed $200 to $2,799, the street price on the 61W-inch (D61W25) has been cut $300 to $3,199 and the street price on the 65W-inch (D65W25) has been slashed by $500 to $3,499.

“These are aggressive prices that reflect our overall stance for next year in how aggressive we are going to be,” he said.