Recently we have seen that most unfortunate thing for Australia being the announcement of the loss of our Ford manufacturing facility in Geelong. I hate that ... I think the Ford straight six in an large bodied vehicle is the ideal car for our great wide land and I will probably procure another Territory before they are rendered extinct.

While Ford were losing $500m a year here in Australia though the CE brand majors in Japan have been making losses that make that barely chicken fodder ... between them Sharp, Sony, and Panasonic lost Australia's deficit of $18 Billion just in the last twelve months. It turns out that Sony's profitable component is actually it's very comprehensive insurance business that it opened in 1981.

One has to wonder how long these Japanese tech giants can sustain this without suffering massive enforced changes. Like Australia without a car manufacturing facility I see a future where Japan will no longer produce televisions and will have handed that baton entirely over to the Koreans and Chinese.

The pre-eminence of Samsung in the local bulk store marketplace demonstrates their ability to meet the voracious price demands of the retail majors while still offering a product that ticks the feature boxes ... LG is running a close second on competitive pricing and I expect a new wave of Chinese panels from Chang Hong and others to be kicking in the door of the 4K panel market next year. Alas it may be that the traditional aforementioned Japanese trio will only exist as a rebadge from offshore sources by then. This will be a great loss as while the Koreans and Chinese are high on features the one thing they lack is constructional quality ...

This might be a good time to get that Sharp 80 inch ...

Also this week in Australia we have seen a very significant amalgamation of two major distributors of specialist CE products being Qualifi and Audio Products Group. This could have a significant effect on those brands such as Denon, Marantz, Nad, Jamo, and Tannoy that have hitherto been in separate houses. Hopefully this is going to benefit the consumer by improving price, availability, and service ... fortunately for Carlton Audio Visual we have had a long track record with both suppliers so at this stage we don't expect our brand relationships to change.

Personally I'm hoping that it will improve our ability to purvey that icon of Television quality being the German Loewe TVs by bringing their Australian distribution base to Melbourne. Loewe by the way has been maintaining market share in Europe while the Japanese giants fight to the death, and much like BMW has been keeping ahead by offering a quality differentiated product that is worth paying extra for. In Europe they have been the major player in Panels 40 inches and above.