Las Vegas – Musical instrument maker Gibson Guitar will bring resources to Onkyo USA to step up marketing, boost customer service, promote the brand more aggressively to consumers, and enter into new audio categories, Gibson and Onkyo executives said.
he executives outlined their plans in their first meeting with the press since the announcement last week that Gibson would acquire a 51 percent stake in Onkyo USA and become the second-largest shareholder of Onkyo Corp. in Japan.
As part of that deal, Onkyo will also invest in Gibson, and the two companies will form a Hong Kong-based joint venture focusing on design and development of consumer audio products.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the month following regulatory approval in Japan, said Gibson chairman/CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. Onkyo is a public company, and Gibson is privately held.
Gibson’s chairman called the Onkyo investment « a unique opportunity » because of the company’s « exceptional » technology, « great leadership » and « great people who are on the same wavelength culturally with Gibson. »
Gibson had been looking to expand into home audio « for some time, » Juszkiewicz said. His company became involved with the Consumer Electronics Association almost seven years ago « in hopes of finding an appropriate means to enter the market, » he said.
Juszkiewicz called Onkyo a « healthy company » with a « great brand » that offers « exceptional quality and features, » but he pointed out that whereas Onkyo enjoys a leading share in Europe, it « has not done as well in the U.S. »
Gibson plans accelerate Onkyo’s U.S. share with a greater marketing spend. « A major area of focus will be marketing, » he said. « The brands are really great, » and the company will get the resources to « tell people how great it is. »