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Pioneer's logo. Click here to visit the Pioneer Electronics website! Pioneer to enter Chinese digicam market
(Monday, August 8, 2011 - 20:51 EDT)

Japan's Pioneer Corp., best-known worldwide for its audio products such as car stereos, A/V receivers, home theater equipment, DJ gear, and more, has announced plans to offer Pioneer-branded digital cameras in the mainland Chinese market.

In its home market, Pioneer has a limited presence in the digital imaging sector, with products such as digital photo frames, but it hasn't previously offered digital cameras under its brand either in Japan or overseas. No information is available on whether the cameras will be designed in-house or by a third party, but a newly-established joint venture with Taiwan's Asia Optical Group will handle production in Manaus, Brazil.

The joint venture company, Pioneer Yorkey do Brasil Ltda., will be located on a Pioneer do Brasil site, and will received 51% of its funding from the Pioneer division, with Asia Optical supplying the remainder. Plans are for sales of some ¥15 billion by 2015, from total shipments of 500,000 units, suggesting an average per-unit price of ¥30,000 (approximately equivalent to US$390, ignoring exchange rate fluctuations, taxes, and duties).

Retail sales, meanwhile, will be undertaken by Chinese appliance retailer Suning Appliance Co. Ltd., with which Pioneer has an ongoing relationship. Suning plans to have Pioneer's products in over 1,000 stores by 2014, and expects to extend its existing strategic alliance with Pioneer by some five to ten years.

Original Source Press Release:

Pioneer and Asia Optical Agree to Establish a Production Joint Venture in Brazil

Aiming for ¥15 billion in sales in 2015

Pioneer Corporation announced today that it has reached an agreement with Asia Optical Group, an alliance partner, to establish a joint venture production facility in Manaus, Brazil. Through the establishment of this joint venture, Pioneer will aim to expand its business by strengthening its operational systems in the Brazilian market, which is expected to continue to grow strongly. Pioneer will also aim for better quality, lower costs, and shorter lead times resulting from the shift to local procurement of mechanical components. The joint venture will target annual sales of 15 billion yen in 2015. See below for detailed information about the business description, launch schedule, and so on.

  1. Business description
    The joint venture will engage in the following business activities in Brazil, directed towards growth markets.

    • Production and sale of mechanical components

    • Undertaking contracts for EMS manufacturing

    • Production of digital cameras

  2. Launch schedule, etc.
    The plan is to establish a joint venture in Manaus, Brazil by about September 2011, and to start producing digital cameras from the end of the year. The joint venture will further expand its business by constructing a new plant in the first half of 2012.

Through this joint venture, Pioneer and Asia Optical will work to lower material costs globally by taking advantage of the synergy arising from their mutual expertise in procuring components.

  • Outline of the joint venture

    1. Company name: Pioneer Yorkey do Brasil Ltda.

    2. Date for the joint venture: Scheduled for September 2011

    3. Location: Manaus, Brazil (in the site of Pioneer do Brasil)

    4. Stated capital: 50 million Real
      (Pioneer do Brasil 51%, Asia Optical Group 49%)

    5. President: Tatsuji Shimizu
      (Plant manager of Pioneer do Brasil, Manaus)

Pioneer Strengthens Strategic Business Alliance with Suning

—Advancing into China's Digital Camera Market—

In November 2009, Pioneer Corporation concluded a strategic alliance agreement with the major Chinese appliance retailer Suning Appliance Co., Ltd. (hereinafter "Suning") to expand its home electronics business in China's rapidly growing economy. Pioneer Corporation now announces a further agreement with Suning as outlined below that will strengthen this strategic business alliance in China.

  1. Considering the favorable retail market conditions, measures will be accelerated to further expand sales of home electronics products to meet market demands.

    • The number of models in the AV product lineup as well as the number of stores displaying these products will be expanded.

      • The number of models will be more than double the current number, and the number of stores displaying models will be more than 1,000 in 2014.

    • The period of the strategic alliance as well as the flat-screen TV brand alliance will be extended by five to ten years.

    • In regards to flat-screen TVs, distribution channels will be altered this fiscal year, placing sales under the Pioneer Group.

      • Flat-screen TV sales goal for 2015 is 1 million units.

  2. Retail sales of Pioneer Brand digital cameras in China will commence through Suning's sales channels.

    • Demand for digital cameras has undergone a boom, so these will be added to the very popular lineup of Pioneer Brand products, thus leading to an expansion of the business in China.

      • Digital camera sales goal for 2015 is 500,000 units

    • An ODM will be used to manufacture the digital cameras. Making use of the partnership with Asia Optical Group (hereinafter "Asia Optical"), which has the technological strength and manufacturing expertise, products that are highly competitive in both quality and price will be produced.

Through this strengthening of the business alliance, in three years Pioneer aims to achieve annual sales by its home electronics business in China of 40 billion yen. Through the establishment of a Brand Management Division and Quality Control Division at Pioneer's local subsidiary in China, integrated brand management and system of support provided to Suning and the ODM companies will be strengthened. These steps will increase the level of value that the Pioneer Brand maintains in China.

Overview of Suning
Headquarters : Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Chairman : Zhang Jindong
Established : June, 2001

Overview of Asia Optical
Headquarters : Taichung, Taiwan R.O.C.
Chairman : Robert Lai
Established : October, 1981

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