The final death spiral of Pioneer?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by made in china, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. made in china

    made in china Member

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    A few days ago, I was informed that Pioneer is being sold to a Hong Kong investment fund.

    Although Pioneer is calling it a chance for a "turn around", as far as I'm concerned, the writing is on the wall. I've never seen a legacy company survive these kinds of changes. I know Pioneer has been changing for a while now, but this is like the "final nail" in the proverbial coffin.

    I have lots of Pioneer silver and blue face gear from near my birth year. And I spent almost my entire adult life using Pioneer car stereo equipment. We even utilize Pioneer's most current Android Auto stuff in the vehicles that can be upgraded, but of course we own one modern car that can't utilize aftermarket gear, like so many newer vehicles these days.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Bu...de-under-Hong-Kong-fund-s-umbrella-and-delist
     

     

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  2. jdmccall

    jdmccall Super Member

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    When I "graduated" from Radio Shack gear, I went to Pioneer electronics and Advent speakers. I was a big fan in the late 70's. I would sure hate to see another classic name in audio bite the dust.
     
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  3. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

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    First "big boy pants" stereo I ever bought had a Pioneer PDM802 Cartridge CD Player (6 cartridge) as a source (1984). My second stereo (1993) had Pioneer Laserdisc player.

    I've owned numerous Pioneer car audio head units over the years.

    Almost forgot .. I own a Pioneer BS 22 (Andrew Jones) speakers .. they didn't stay in my system long .. moved on to other bookshelves.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  4. made in china

    made in china Member

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    That article I linked to mentioned that smartphones are likely to have impacted Pioneer's car audio line. I don't think so. It's that newer vehicles are not easily upgraded anymore, and my 2 most recent new cars really had excellent OEM sounds systems that I haven't felt compelled to mess with (nearly impossible to do anyways).

    As far as home audio is concerned, consumers have directed their discretionary funds to other toys these days ($1000 smartphones).
     
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  5. goodolpg

    goodolpg Just an old fart trying to help.

    I had to Google Pioneer to see if they even manufacture home stereo components anymore.
    Evidently they do though it might not be high on their priority list.
     
  6. made in china

    made in china Member

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    When I lived in China, I would travel between Wuxi and Shanghai on the weekends, there was a big Pioneer factory off the side of the highway. I'm guessing somewhere near Suzhou.
    I think even though Pioneer moved to Chinese manufacturing, for the most part they avoided contract manufacturing, instead choosing to operate their own factories in various Asian countries.
    Lots of electronics nowadays are made under contract with a familiar name slapped on, like RCA, Westinghouse, GE, Sylvania, etc. Pioneer will probably end up the same way soon. No way an investment fund will tolerate operating costs related to factories.
     
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  7. made in china

    made in china Member

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    My PD-F1009 may very well be the last piece of Japanese made home stereo gear sold in USA. Bought it new, online from Vanns in 2008.
     
  8. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

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    Pretty much all of the old-line US audio/radio/TV brands are little more than nameplates nowadays. Philco, Zenith, Admiral, KLH, AR, Advent, Scott, Sherwood, Fisher, Marantz, Harman-Kardon, etc. all swallowed up several times over, and are little more than a name on a box at this point. Even McIntosh, which is one of the few still manufactured in the US and has been allowed to retain some of its identity, has changed hands multiple times over the years. At least some of the Japanese companies have retained some semblance of their original identities, but this may eventually change. A damn shame, if you ask me, but it seems to be the way of the times. :(
    -Adam
     
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  9. FauxHall

    FauxHall Super Member

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    I wonder how much of the buying craze of old-line American businesses was facilitated by subtle changes to the tax codes and tariffs? Remember the "carried interest" taxation issue? A hedge fund could buy a manufacturing company that paid corporate taxes then pay much lower taxes on the profits of the hedge fund owners.

    I think that's right - someone correct me if they know more.

    Our business regulations are in a very dynamic period now
     
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  10. WaynerN

    WaynerN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Pioneer was not a US company. There meters were found in Japanese Zeros (that's a world war II Japanese fighter plane). So they don't belong in you list. They were a Japanese company, just like Matsushita (Panasonic, Technics).
     
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  11. WaynerN

    WaynerN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Labor costs are the primary driver for companies to relocate or sell-out. While China is the current labor force of the world, the world is now eyeing up Africa as the next labor pool. Of course we have 12 year old kids in India taking apart electronic circuit boards as a recycling effort, their counterpart 12 year olds are sewing cloths in many other countries like Honduras, Vietnam and the likes of those 2nd world countries.

    Also, the market is changing. The US used to be filled with audio salons, now only a few, and Best Buy. The interest in big amps, speakers and the likes have been taken over by the phone. Even the computer industry is struggling because of the phone. The phone is destroying the economies of the world, not hedge funds.
     

     

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  12. FauxHall

    FauxHall Super Member

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    "Labor costs are the primary driver for companies to relocate or sell-out."

    Pioneer already has factories in China so differential labor costs are already accounted for. Granted, a Japanese company selling out to a Hong Kong investment fund is probably not driven by US tax code issues.

    A declining market segment is a good reason to liquidate assets though.
     
  13. TudorTurtle

    TudorTurtle Well-Known Member

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    IIRC Pioneer home audio was bought by Onkyo last year, and this buy is for the auto electronics.
    I think this is more about the buyer getting a foot into the auto tech market than winding down Pioneer auto. Remember Samsung bought all of Harmon Intl just for their auto technology, getting HK, JBL, B&W, Levenson, etc in the deal.
     
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  14. zebra03

    zebra03 All Audio - NO BS

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    What a shame .
     
  15. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    I have had a love affair with Pioneer since a lad. Will certainly hate to see them go, but they'll go with a whimper, not a bang.
    Sad.
     
  16. tom67

    tom67 Active Member

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    Keep your chin up.....maybe the only change will be "Baring Equity" on the front of your next receiver instead of Pioneer
     
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  17. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Samsung does not own B&W, B&W is owned by an American company.
     
  18. just dave

    just dave vintage rules!

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    How the mighty have fallen.Who would have thought this would be their fate.
     
  19. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

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    I'm quite aware of that. :) The OP mentioned some US companies in the post I quoted, which led me to mention how most of the old-line US brands are now little more than nameplates. The larger Japanese companies like Sony and Kenwood have held out longer, for the most part, though Sansui and Nakamichi have suffered this fate in recent years, and it seems like Pioneer may be next. :(
    -Adam
     
  20. WaynerN

    WaynerN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You can throw Sony under the bus too, as they have pretty much abandoned audio, at least the affordable, consumer market. They sometimes do not make good decisions. Maybe they will come back like Technics......
     

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