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  3. > Sony’s TV spin off: Now or never for the Japanese giant?

Introduction

Sony's recent spin-off of its TV business comes as part of a wider restructuring package aimed at revitalizing the conglomerate's ailing consumer electronics operations. This case study examines the causes of Sony's financial woes, the moves it has made to reverse its decline, and its chances of success, particularly in relation to its TV business.

Features and benefits

* This case study examines the causes of Sony's decline in the consumer electronics market.
* This case study looks at the measures Sony has taken to reverse its consumer electronics decline, particularly its poorly performing TV business.
* This case study examines Sony's chances of succeeding in these aims.

Highlights

In March 2014 Sony reported that it had incurred a tenth consecutive year of losses in its TV operations. Over the last decade, it has poured around JPY790bn ($8.1bn) in to this enterprise.
Sony's woes have been compounded by the meteoric rise of its rivals. Taken as a whole, Samsung's revenues were equal to 17% of South Korea's GDP in 2013.

Your key questions answered

* What are the roots of Sony's consumer electronics decline?
* How has Sony resolved to reverse its decline, particularly in its TV business?
* How likely are Sony's reform efforts to succeed?

Table Of Contents

Sony’s TV spin off: Now or never for the Japanese giant?
OVERVIEW
Catalyst
Summary
SONY'S FINANCIAL POSITION: AN OVERVIEW
The scale of Sony's woes
Observers' frustrations
THE ROOTS OF SONY'S DECLINE
Failure to innovate
Rising competition
Sony - Samsung rivalry
The threat from LG
Chinese upstarts
Sony's structural inefficiencies
High variable costs
High fixed costs
External economic factors
The strong Yen
The 2011 earthquake
Advanced and Emerging market demand
IN 2014, SONY REDOUBLED REFORM EFFORTS
Adapting product lines
Reducing costs, limiting exposure
Variable costs: display panel procurement
Fixed costs: sales, RandD and HQ
Focus and structural change
SOLUTIONS COULD WORK, BUT NOTHING IS CERTAIN
Sony appears resolute in its pursuit of change
Sony's product line adaptations are sensible
Sony has made significant progress in reducing costs, and market exposure
The business environment is less harsh than it has been
Japan's economy may be turning a corner
Hot competition could burn Sony's rivals
Emerging market growth remains strong, despite deceleration
Western markets show signs of recovery
CONCLUSIONS
Sony's position is bad, but its solutions are sensible and could work
APPENDIX
Definitions
Sources
Further Reading
Ask the analyst
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