Natcomp brings Daewoo to Australia

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Distributor Natcomp is bringing the Daewoo brand of PCs, notebooks and peripherals to Australia and New Zealand, signing an exclusive distribution agreement with the Korean manufacturer.

As a result, the distributor will cease to sell its white-box or "Natcomp" branded range of PCs and notebooks to the reseller and retail channels.

Natcomp is hoping that the deal would bring in up to $12 million in sales revenue over the next 12 months. It is believed that Natcomp is in discussions with big retailers--two being Harvey Norman and the Myer Group--to sell the products here. The Daewoo range is targeted at consumer and SOHO markets.

Daewoo manufactures a range of PCs which will run Celeron or Intel P4 processors and P4 and Centrino-driven notebooks at its facility in South Korea. CRT, LCD monitors, CD writers and other peripherals are manufactured in China.

Fabio Grassia, managing director at Natcomp, said it would be easier to sell a known global brand than its own branded products. "We've done well with it [white-boxes], but the market is getting so competitive with every man and his dog in there. I want a slice of that PC business as much as everyone else wants it," he said.

Grassia claimed that Natcomp was also in discussions with Daewoo to distribute its range of electrical goods such as DVD players and televisions. It also plans to start moving Daewoo servers next year, he said.

The stock arrives next month and the distributor is currently phasing out its own branded products which have made up between 20 and 30 percent of its sales revenue, Grassia said.

Daewoo have barely had a presence in Australia prior to this arrangement. Grassia said there was one dealer five years ago here importing its notebooks on an ad-hoc basis. "There was nothing consolidated all together," he said.

The Daewoo deal follows Natcomp's decision in April this year to dump the Hyundai brand from its distribution books after around eight years distributing the products. Grassia claimed the Hyundai products weren't price competitive and were unreliable. "They weren't competitive, there wasn't enough marketing going on with those products. Daewoo is more price competitive and the quality will be better," he said.

Daewoo approached Natcomp after learning that it had dropped Hyundai, Grassia said. Natcomp is hoping to move between 900 and 1,000 Daewoo desktops per month and between 250 and 300 notebooks, Grassia said.

The distributor would also offer a configure-to-order service on Daewoo gear, he said.

Both companies plan to do joint marketing exercises in the local market with Daewoo contributing 50 percent of the co-operative marketing funds for channel marketing.

Grassia added that Natcomp had done the price comparison between Daewoo and the top PC and notebooks brands in Australia and New Zealand finding that Daewoo was "slightly cheaper".

"But, we're going to keep the margin--we're not going to price it down to the ground. We'll keep the margin at a level where we can support it," he said.



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