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Panasonic stages SA comeback

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Panasonic yesterday relaunched its brand in South Africa at an event held at Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg. 

The company will offer a range of consumer and enterprise products in South Africa, including TVs, home theatre systems, home audio systems, portable audio systems, cameras, home appliances such as washing machines, fridges and beauty care products; as well as a full range of business-to-business equipment and air conditioners.

Panasonic’s new tagline, “you deserve better”, is specific to the South African market. The company plans to spend $5-million (about R60-million) per year on marketing alone as it seeks to use South Africa as a launch pad for its strategic expansion into the rest of Africa.

Daizo Ito, regional head of Panasonic for India, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, says: “Attention to detail and refined Japanese craftsmanship are inherent in all Panasonic products, from easy-to-use consumer products such as our range of audio-visual systems, cameras, home appliances, to reliable and precise business solutions including air conditioning units.”

In the consumer space, Panasonic will not offer experience stores as their competitors do; instead, they will focus on discount stores (such as Game and Marko), chains (such as Shoprite) and independent dealers (to offer top-end goods).
In the business-to-business space, Panasonic plans to use partners to expand their market share.

“South Africa has the priority at the moment, but the next targets for Panasonic will be Nigeria and Egypt,” Ito says.