Starting next year, Sharp TVs sold in the Americas won't actually be made by Sharp. Sharp announced this morning that it was getting out of the TV business in North and South America by selling its Mexican production factory and leasing rights to its brand name to Hisense, a Chinese manufacturer that's been trying to build its name up in the region. Once Hisense picks up production, it'll be the real name behind Sharp TVs, as well as the Aquos and Quattron branding.
Sharp admits it "has not been able to fully adapt" to competition
Sharp very recently introduced new TVs in the US, but even at the time, it made note that it had been struggling. Rather than continuing that push forward, it now seems to have been forced to make a change by the steep losses reported in June. "In recent years," the company writes, "Sharp has not been able to fully adapt to the intensifying market competition, which led to significantly lower profits compared to the initial projections for the previous fiscal year, and has been suffering from poor earnings performance." Hisense paid $23.7 million for the factory and branding rights.
Sharp will still maintain a presence in the Americas, just not in TVs. It'll remain a consumer electronics brand, and it'll keep selling products like ovens, photocopiers, and solar cells. Between these categories and leasing its name to Hisense — which seems to be inherently profitable, outside of the close to $80 million in losses its taking due to restructuring — Sharp says that it'll be able to increase profitability. It notes that there could still be "structural reforms" to come, however, so this may not be the last business Sharp steps away from.