China-based TV manufacturing concern The Konka Group will be giving the Konka brand a re-launch in the U.S. market at the upcoming CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Jan. 7-10.

Konka is among the top-five TV brands in its China domestic market, and it has unsuccessfully tried in the past to launch the brand in the United States. Now in the face of the major successes of fellow China TV makers TCL and Hisense, the company is giving it another go with advanced television displays and other products.

Although the Konka name hasn’t been widely visible on U.S. consumer electronics retail shelves for a while, the company has been an OEM resource for other brands selling Konka-made products here.

This time around under its own brand, Konka’s North American sales and marketing effort is being led by seasoned U.S. consumer electronics executives, including Scott Ramirez, best known for his work with Toshiba America. Ramirez long held leadership positions in CE and TV product marketing for Japanese TV makers Hitachi and later Toshiba, before Toshiba exited the U.S. market and licensed the brand to Taiwan’s Compal and later China’s Hisense.

Ramirez is Konka’s new sales and marketing senior VP with oversight of sales, marketing, brand strategy, business planning, product planning, channel marketing and brand marketing for the United States and Canada.

Ramirez has helped the company produce a range of “market-right” TV and Smart Home series products, the company said. The new lineup will offer the U.S. and Canadian markets “both high performance and high value, with technologies and features designed to meet and exceed today’s home entertainment needs.”

Konka will hit the ground running by showing at CES some advanced new display technologies including its “advanced Micro LED technology, which can already be found in new Konka commercial displays.” Other display technologies on tap for the event will include: Mini LED, OLED, 8K, Quantum Dot and 5G, the company said.

“Most importantly, Konka will debut a new line-up of 4K Ultra HD and Smart Products slated for availability in North America this Spring,” the company revealed.

Konka described itself as “a vertically integrated prime manufacturer with over 5,000 TV patents.” It sells products in over 100 countries worldwide, and tailors its offering to each individual market. In addition to making television sets, Konka makes equipment for home audio, Smart Home connectivity, Appliances and Mobile.

“In North America, Konka will offer a variety of affordable high-performance, feature-rich products, all reflecting the company’s mission to provide quality, leading-edge technologies and value,” Konka said in a statement, adding that its immediate focus will be on marketing Konka’s TV offerings.

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On the smart home side, Konka said it is creating a broad-based AI ecosystem. The company said it has significantly increased investment in several key technology areas including AIoT (combining AI with Home Control), 5G and Semiconductor (including a new 8K SoC).

Behind the new local-market leadership, Konka said it plans to significantly expand its presence in North America over the next three years.

“I am honored and excited to help launch the Konka brand in North America,” stated Ramirez. “Konka has amazing people, incredible products and extensive manufacturing power. We will offer consumers a wide range of unique products with an unsurpassed combination of quality, technology and high value. Plus, we have a clear long-term vision, and will create true business partnerships for mutual growth and success.”

Joining Ramirez as product marketing and sales operations VP is Bruce Fairchild who has been named Konka’s Vice President of Product Marketing and Sales Operations.

Fairchild, who has worked with Ramirez in the past, adds several cross-functional responsibilities including channel marketing and all sales related operational functions, the company said.

Also, CE veteran Paul Norton will be Konka’s sales VP responsible for all sales in both the U.S. and Canada.

Konka is among several higher-performance electronics brands that will be looking to use CES 2020 to grow their presence in North America in the new year.

Also at the show, China’s Skyworth TV brand will be looking to mark its efforts to enter the competitive U.S. market. Skyworth is one of the leading manufacturers and marketers of OLED televisions, among others, in China. That company previously announced that it has signed on long-time industry veteran John Homlish, most recently president of Haier USA, as senior VP of sales and marketing. Skyworth has scheduled a press conference immediately prior to the opening of the show to discuss its own expansion plans.

By Greg Tarr

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