Hitachi’s consumer business pulls back from Canada

Citing the declining economy and the need to improve operational efficiencies, Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc. (HHEA) has announced it will close its Canadian market operations and its branch office in Mississauga, Ont.

The Canadian operation will be consolidated with HHEA’s U.S. headquarters in Chula Vista, Calif., and HHEA said it will continue to serve and compete in the Canadian market from the U.S. The Mississauga office had been managing HHEA’s Canadian consumer and business electronics sales, marketing and service activities.

The move is scheduled for completion on or before March 31, 2009.

“Consolidating our North American operations is an important step toward achieving key operational efficiencies within our organization,” said Kenji Nakamura, HHEA’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Competing effectively in Canada will continue to be a priority for our company, and we do not believe this change will impair our ability to maintain and grow our relationships with our many Canadian customers and business partners.”

HHEA declined to comment beyond the issued statement, and didn’t provide insight on how support for Canadian channel partners will be impacted by the consolidation.

Not all of Hitachi’s operations in Canada will be impacted by the consolidation, which mainly impacts the consumer products group. HHEA is the consumer group subsidiary of Hitachi America, which, in turn, is a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. HHEA markets HD plasma and LCD flat panel televisions and monitors, as well as Blu-ray Disc, DVD and HDD camcorders and LCD projectors, interactive panels and whiteboards and security and observation system products through value added resellers, system integrators, distributors and OEMs.

It appears Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), the storage products division of Canada, is still maintaining its Canadian operations and presence. Bradley Brodkin, president of HighVail Systems, a Toronto-based solution provider and HDS partner, said it appears to be business as usual on the storage side, adding the vendor has recently added staff in Western Canada.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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