Monday, September 01, 2008

Hoya to Liquidate Pentax Scandinavia

According to the announcement of Hoya on August 7, 2008, Pentax Scandinavia is to be dissolved and liquidated by December 31, 2008. The decision was actually made back to September 3, 2007 when Hoya had already held 90.5% shares of the ex-Pentax Corporation.

This will make an end to the Pentax Scandinavia which have served the Northern Europe (Scandinavia) Pentax users for 26 years since established in 1982.

It is told that "a (new?) branch of Pentax Europe GmBH" would be set up to replace the Pentax Scandinavia, "in order to improve the business efficiency".

In fact, Hoya have shown the world their strong determination of "business efficiency improvement" once again recently which seems to be solely (running) cost conscious but nothing else. But, is "efficiency" actually all *just* about the operating cost and expenditures? Indeed, how can a company to gain more profit margin in running a business? Yes, expenditures include manufacturing costs of goods, both material and labour costs in running business and so on, but, do a company need to cut all those cost as far as possible and then wishfully hoping a success in the end?

Whilst closing down those Pentax branch and factory one by one (no matter they are new or old) would certain save some costs, the actual effects to the business (of the Pentax brand) are yet uncertain. For example, a local Pentax branch could help to promote products and sales and surely would provide better after-sales support and services to the existing Pentax users at the region. So, *unless* the sales of current Pentax products (mainly the Pentax DSLR system, in fact) in Northern Europe is just so poor, I see no point to close down that regional head office even though its scale maybe small somehow.

On the other hand, Pentax's head in China informed that in a recent interview that *Pentax* (not Hoya, unfortunately) were going to set up more local branch offices in the large cities of China in order to get more business opportunities and to improve the current customer support and service levels at China. Are Hoya actually doing the reverse in Europe for their sales and after-sales policy now? Well, I just wish to ask again that: Are the sales of current Pentax products in (Northern) Europe declining so badly that Hoya decided taking the move is so necessary? IF NOT, WHY? Just because Hoya wanted to cut costs for the sake of cutting costs and for a better looking business results / financial report, even if the cost is actually really small?

I really hope that Hoya should think very seriously and more clearly that whether they should cut more branches of Pentax further in order to improve their
"business efficiency" (well, I quote their term here again). Or, in contrast, to upkeep their pace of product updating/evolution and technologies revolution and invest more in R&D and manufacturing facilities so that more business and marketing opportunities could be gained which would mean better sales and business results. By then, more local branches and sales offices can be and should be set up as a consequence. But then in order to get better results, they should strengthen their organisation locally at different countries, cities and regions - really a real chicken and egg problem afterall!

Now, it leaves only a few Pentax subsidiaries on this planet
after the death of Pentax Scandinavia. WHO will be the NEXT?? Or, will *Hoya* really set up new branches at China as the Pentax head in China told? (Really Very Unlikely, I bet, from what we have seen so far for the recent happenings!)

To give all of my readers here more food for thought. The live examples are: Canon and Nikon have many many branches and direct subsidiaries all over the world, do they ever need to cut many of those to save costs? Just think about it.

Last but not least, when I look again at the successful history of Pentax and some historical backgrounds of the company, I have some kinds of sorrow myself, like this one:-

http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/70/Pentax-Corporation.html

Now that Hoya had to change the web address of pentax.co.jp to pentax.jp to get rid of the "co" in the URL and ditto in the latest firmware update of the K20D (which caused much incompatibility as a result), for example, I do really question much about the open-mind-ness (if any) of the Hoya heads who have the real authority in the company. Really sad, yet once again!

4 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Ricehigh, you know only part of the story. Think about that.

RiceHigh said...

So, whats the other part of the story and what it tells?

Anonymous said...

You don't know it, nor do I. All you do is speculate on part of a story

RiceHigh said...

So, how come you knew there is "another part" of the story, since you've admitted that even you yourself don't know?

Indeed, the report I made is not "speculation", the source is from the official announcement made by Hoya, whats that "speculation" actually?

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