GE Entering HDTV Market
General Electric Co. is re-entering the TV business after officially bowing out in 1987. (The name was licensed to Thomson until 2004.) With the digital transition looming, folks need TVs, but do we need yet another name brand?
Thomas Edison's GE is teaming up with Taiwanese company Tatung, with plans to produce two million HD sets a year, starting next year. Not willing to enter the market at the bottom, GE announced that they picked Tatung because of their experience, and want to hit the market in a premium position.
More details . . .
In an article for The Wall Street Journal, Peter Weedfald, president of North America and global chief marketing officer for the joint venture, said it intends to be a "premium brand" that will be "very competitive with current leadership brands." The company will be based in Chino, Calif., and will produce some sets in Mexico.
"It's a small bet for GE," says Marc Bertino, vice president of trademark licensing at GE. "It's just an easy way to get into a high-growth market with a great partner."
They're also hinting that they want to incorporate Internet content from NBC Universal, a division of GE. Of course, no word on how that's gonna work out. -Leslie Shapiro