Sharp Corp., now under majority control of Foxconn, will not be using CES 2020 to launch a new Sharp branded television line in the United States this year, a top executive with the company’s U.S. sales operations told HD Guru.

“We’re not announcing any plans at this moment to re-enter the U.S. consumer TV market in 2020,” said Jim Sanduski, president of Sharp Home Electronics Company of America (SHCA). “We surveyed the market, met with accounts and in the end could not find a profitable path with our proposed line-up.”

Instead, Sanduski said the new Sharp Corp. is retraining its sights on a 2021 U.S. TV market relaunch.

“We’ll look toward 2021 with a different line-up,” said Sanduski. “In the meantime, our B2B [Business to Business] group will continue to market professional displays.”

For now, Sanduski said his New Jersey-based sales and marketing team “will continue to expand our built-in kitchen appliance product portfolio.”

He said the Sharp booth on the CES 2020 floor will show TV displays as advanced technology statements or as products planned for release in Japan and other regions of the world, similar to its approach to last year’s CES. The U.S. team will also present an expanded assortment of kitchen appliances, he said.

This year was expected to see the return of the Sharp brand to the U.S. market, after majority investor Foxconn made a public push to regain the brand rights for television sales and marketing in the United States from China-based Hisense.

Hisense had previously acquired the licensing rights to the Sharp TV brand for this region for five years. That deal was finalized when the original Japanese management of Sharp Corp. was faced with a crippling debt crisis and unable to negotiate a satisfactory arrangement with Foxconn.

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Last year, Hisense agreed to partially relinquish the Sharp brand rights to Sharp/Foxconn from the September-December 2019 period. However, a Hisense deal with big box electronics chain Best Buy, which had arranged for exclusive rights to certain Hisense-made Sharp TV models, was to continue until January. In the interim, Sharp Corp, under Foxconn, controlled sales and marketing on U.S. Sharp TVs sold outside of Best Buy. Sharp/Foxconn got full control of the brand rights for Sharp TVs in the United States on Jan. 1st.

By Greg Tarr

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