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Let it be said… On the insolvency of Onkyo Home Entertainment

Over and done with, Onkyo is no more, this news naturally caused quite a stir in all relevant forums and on social media platforms in the last few days. Onkyo and with it one of the renowned Japanese brands in consumer electronics, which for decades had played a decisive role in shaping the development of the market with its products, was history. However, it should be said that this is only partly true, as it has been widely communicated, because this topic is actually a little more complex.

Onkyo Home Entertainment in Japan files for insolvency

The fact is that Onkyo Home Entertainment in Japan filed for bankruptcy and thus ceased its business activities. So much for the excitement of the last few days. However, the choruses of doom that followed were premature, because at the end of the day, this is only the final step of a development that began much earlier, but not the end of the Onkyo brand.

A chain of wrong decisions…

In fact, the Onkyo Corporation had not been in the best of shape for a long time. There were many reasons why the company went steadily downhill, by the way, in pair with a second traditional Japanese company, namely Pioneer Corporation.

This development goes back to the 1990s and is characterised by countless wrong decisions and the inability to react correctly to market developments.

The upheavals that have taken place around the Onkyo brand in recent years were the result of these wrong decisions and inevitably led to its downfall.

Takeover of Onkyo and Integra by VOXX International Corporation and Sharp Corporation

The end of the drama was that after several missteps, VOXX International Corporation took over the brands Onkyo and Integra in a joint venture with Sharp Corporation in September 2021, which included not only the naming rights but all intellectual property rights. From then on, the joint venture also assumed responsibility for product management, development, sales, marketing and distribution of the Onkyo Home Entertainment business. The joint venture had also taken over the production of the products, including a variety of A/V and stereo receivers, amplifiers and hi-fi components marketed under the Onkyo and Integra brand names.

The Onkyo and Integra brand agendas were transferred to VOXX International Corporation’s wholly owned subsidiary Premium Audio Company LLC.

The creditor protection proceedings filed by Onkyo Home Entertainment in Osaka on 13 May 2022 thus in no way affect the company assets previously acquired by Premium Audio Company LLC. and Sharp Corporation, as VOXX International Corporation explicitly states in a statement – apart from the fact that it is probably a further low blow for the image of the brand, this must be noted.

Premium Audio Company LLC. very successful with Onkyo, Integra and Pioneer

Of course, Premium Audio Company LLC. wants to counteract this and explicitly states that the development of the newly acquired brand has been extremely successful.

The company states that Premium Audio Company LLC. started as a distributor of Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite through its own subsidiary 11 Trading Company in July 2020. In April 2021, 11TC became the exclusive distributor of the Teac and Esoteric audio brands in the US, and in September 2021, Premium Audio Company LLC. acquired the Onkyo and Integra brands through its joint venture with Sharp Corporation. A licensing and distribution agreement was subsequently entered into with Pioneer Corporation. All sales of these branded products were operated through 11TC and grew in revenue from US$13.8 million (fiscal year 2021) to US$59.4 million in fiscal year 2021, with Onkyo leading the way by sales volume.

And the outlook is also extremely positive, as stated in the published statement. From the very highest level, the statement reads:

“Demand for Onkyo and Integra products is very high and we expect to increase this in the coming years. We are working very closely with Sharp to increase production and have grown significantly since the acquisition. We have big plans for Onkyo and the other brands sold through 11TC and we are confident we can more than double sales in the near future, which is why we are investing in production and expanding distribution. Rumours or any comments about the Onkyo brand to the contrary are misleading and without foundation.”

Paul Jacobs, President and CEO of Premium Audio Company LLC.

Who is Premium Audio Company LLC.

Since its founding in 2020, Premium Audio Company LLC. has been providing the most innovative, comprehensive and high-quality consumer audio solutions. It connects people through a passion for entertainment. Premium Audio Company consists of three sub-companies and includes some of the most legendary and respected brands such as Klipsch, Jamo, Mirage, ProMedia, Magnat, Heco, Mac Audio, Onkyo, Pioneer, Pioneer Elite, Integra, Teac and Esoteric.

Who is VOXX International Corporation

VOXX International Corporation (NASDAQ: VOXX) has become one of the leading automotive and consumer electronics companies, with a future technology in biometrics to capitalise on the increased need for high security. With a portfolio of some 35 respected brands, VOXX has taken the position of market leader in in-car entertainment, automotive security, reception products, a number of premium audio segments and many more over the past decades. VOXX is a global company, with an extensive distribution network that includes powerful retailers, wholesalers, 12V specialists and many of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers.

Getting to the point

That what now happened on May 13, 2022 with the bankruptcy filing of Onkyo Home Entertainment in Japan is, of course, in the final analysis a kind of closing, the last chapter of a decades-long history of a very successful, indeed, very prestigious brand over many years. Onkyo Corporation was one of the great Japanese brands that virtually exemplified an entire culture, but in many cases, with very few exceptions, has long been history. Of course, the new owner VOXX International Corporation or its subsidiary Premium Audio Company LLC. sees this a little differently, after all, they have secured everything that somehow still represents a value. Whether this will really be successful in the long run, as the Americans hope, remains to be seen. At Onkyo Home Entertainment in Japan, however, the light switch has now been turned off after the entire inventory has already been removed, to put this drama in a nutshell.

VOXX International Corporation
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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