Towada Audio purchases dormant audiovisual products maker from Sony
TOKYO — A Japanese electronics manufacturing service company is breathing new life into the Aiwa brand, reviving a once-beloved household name known for making high-quality audiovisual products.
Sony has sold the right to use the brand name to a Japanese company engaged in electronics contract manufacturing. The company will start selling products such as music players and 4K TVs under the Aiwa brand at home and abroad this autumn. The new merchandise will be manufactured in China, at least for now.
Aiwa, founded in 1951, was acquired in 2002 by Sony, which ran the company until 2008.
In February this year, Sony sold the brand name’s rights to Towada Audio, which manufactures electronics products for other companies. Towada Audio is based in Akita Prefecture in northeastern Japan and makes small radios and a few other products for Sony.
Towada Audio has created a new company using the Aiwa name and based in Tokyo to relaunch the brand. Starting at the end of September, products like CD boomboxes and 4K TVs with the Aiwa logo will be sold at electronics retailers and department stores across the nation.
The new Aiwa 4K TVs will feature front-facing speakers based on the company’s audio technology.
The top-of-the-line 55-inch model will be priced at 138,000 yen ($1,230) not including consumption tax, compared with the 150,000 yen to 200,000 yen price range for rival products on the market.
The Japanese TV market is expected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by consumer expectations for the scheduled start of 4K ultra-high definition TV broadcasting in 2018 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Aiwa will feature five 4K TV models with display sizes ranging from 24 inches to 55 inches and is targeting sales of 50,000 units in the first year.
Aiwa’s new CD boombox will be priced at 5,980 yen. The company will also market a lineup of high-resolution music players and Bluetooth speakers.