Sony Launches Cash-for-televisions Scheme in Britain

Follows success of Britain's 'new for old' car scheme

Sony Corp. on August 19 launched a scheme in Britain to encourage cash-strapped consumers to swap old televisions for new ones in a plan that mirrors worldwide car trade-in initiatives. The company will offer customers reductions of as much as 150 pounds (US$246) off the price of some of its new Bravia televisions in return for ageing models.

"Sony UK Limited is introducing a new television trade-in initiative this Friday whereby consumers can trade in their old television at participating Sony stockists in exchange for money off a new Bravia," the company said. "The new TV trade-in scheme from Sony makes it easier for consumers to dispose of old sets and receive money off a new Bravia."

The loss-making company has been badly hurt by the global economic downturn which has slashed worldwide demand for televisions and other electronic gadgets.

"The campaign itself offers customers the advantages of swapping old for new rather than simply throwing away -- encouraging old televisions to be responsibly disposed of," added Sony UK spokesman Matt Coombe.

The TV scrappage plan follows the success of the British government's "new for old" car scheme. Earlier this month, the government announced that British motorists have bought more than 150,000 new cars under its vehicle scrappage scheme, reaching the half-way mark in the plan to boost the troubled auto sector. The scheme -- which gives car buyers a 2,000-pound discount when they trade in a vehicle over 10 years old -- was launched back in April and mirrors schemes abroad.

Last month, Sony Corp. reported a net loss of 37.1 billion yen (US$390 million) for the fiscal first quarter through June, blaming the global economic downturn. The maker of PlayStation 3 videogame consoles and Cyber-shot cameras also maintained its forecast for its first back-to-back annual losses since the group was listed on the Japanese stock market in 1958. Sony, which announced in March its first annual loss in 14 years, expects to end the current business year 120 billion yen in the red.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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