About SANYO (CNBC and Wallstreet Journal)

Wednesday Nov 16, 2005, I was interviewed live on CBNC’s Asia Market Wrap with Christine Tan about SANYO’s plans to sell it’s financial division. Some of my friends asked me what I sad in this program – so here is my transcript from memory.

Here is roughly what I said:

Fundamentally I am very hopeful for SANYO. SANYO has some fantastic technologies and makes many fantastic electronics products. For example, SANYO makes some of the most fantastic mobile phones here in Japan for KDDI, and I heard just today that SANYO phones came top in customer satisfaction in the USA. Mr Kawahara at Kenwood and Mr Ghosn at Nissan and Ripplewood at Shinsei Bank have shown that it is possible to turn round Japanese companies in a very short time. What NISSAN, Ripplewood and Shinsei did, was to concentrate on their essential core business, on their strengths and sell or spin out all non-essential businesses. Nissan used to be in Aerospace and real estate business and lots of other areas which have nothing to do with cars. In the same way, I see much hope for SANYO, if SANYO focusses totally on core strengths and technologies.

On the other hand, we have a corporation here with about US$ 20 billion in sales making US$ 1 billion loss last year and US$ 2 billion loss this year. So we clearly have an unstable situation. SANYO must take drastic action to sell non-essential assets and it’s in this light that SANYO has plans to sell the financial business, which is essentially a general banking operation which is not at all SANYO’s core business and strength.

Christine Tan: “So which business areas do you think SANYO should sell”

GF: I am of course in no position to tell SANYO management what to do, however their steps to sell non-core assets is certainly a good start. Looking at Kenwood, Nissan and Shinsei Bank and many others I can see many examples where excellent management has turned around Japanese companies in a very short time. I am confident that with the right management this can also be done at SANYO.

See also: article in Wallstreet Journal about SANYO

For general review see presentation at Stanford University

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