Sony South Africa is planning to close down its Consumer Audio Visual (CAV) business unit in South Africa, and will be wrapping up its existing distribution network as early as January 2015.
All employees currently working in the CAV arm of the company will be affected, and Sony says that there may be up to 57 redundancies during restructuring.
CAV covers Sony’s consumer electronics such as cameras and audio-visual equipment including TVs and home audio electronics. The changes will not affect its mobile handset arm or distribution of PlayStation products. Likewise the firm’s professional and broadcast arm will not be affected by the changes.
There have been rumours that Sony has been planning to restructure its distribution activity for some time now, but htxt.africa has today confirmed that associated services such as marketing will also be affected. A Sony spokesperson said that the brand is not withdrawing from South Africa, but that it is “now studying the possibility of a new business model for selected Sony’s CAV products across South Africa. No decision or appointments has (sic) been made at this point”.
When asked about how existing warranties will be honoured we were assured that all existing obligations would continue to be met.*
“The consumer does not have to worry also in terms of X-mas sales. Sony will continue to provide after-sales service for Sony products in South Africa, in line with the local laws and regulations, and applicable warranties by Sony entities.”
New distribution partners have not been confirmed by the company, although sources have told us that there are a number of them being considered at this time.
The shut down of the local unit comes as Sony fights to return to profit on the global level. Recent moves in a similar vein have included selling its VAIO notebook business and other cost-cutting measures by company CEO Kaz Hirai.
* The quote has been changed to reflect a correction from Sony South Africa