Metz Insolvent : Jobs Affected

Have you heard of Metz? Popularly known in Germany for their expensive television sets (at least expensive to our Malaysian standards), Metz is better known in the photography circles as the flash maker and other kinds of photography related accessories. Though they also make strobes, these pricey strobes has not caught on much with the ailing Malaysian and Singaporean photography market.

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Metz are more famous for their flashes in this part of the world.

Meaning of Metz Insolvent

So, what do we mean by ‘Metz Insolvent?’ Being insolvent does not mean bankruptcy, but it just means having
more liability than assets and the lack of ability to pay off debts.

Reasons for Metz’ Insolvency

There are many reasons for Metz being insolvent, but the most cited has been tough competition followed by low prices from their rivals. After all, how many of us would pay USD 5999 for a 42 inch LCD TV only to be let down by the TV’s lack of user friendliness?

The strong Euro currency does not help companies like Metz who are into manufacturing. After all, though the premiumly priced Metz TV might have their casing made of aluminium, the average consumer would rather spend much less on a Samsung or Sony Bravia. Metz themselves admitted that their strategy to focus only on premium customers had failed to battle the economic downturn.1

Also, Metz’ photography business isn’t exactly doing well with the rise of Yongnuo and other Chinese manufacturers of third-party camera flash and strobe units.

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Many jobs are at stake as Metz moves to restructure their company

Metz Insolvent : What Will Happen

Metz will continue the production of both television and camera flash and strobes, including accessories. However, jobs for their 550 full-time and 100 part-time staff will definitely be affected. The company will definitely be restructured.

For us, we hope that Metz is able to weather off the storm. However, targeting premium market just because they would like to keep the production in Germany is not a very bright move. Plus television has rapidly become a commodity product, causing even household names like Sharp to be on the verge of bankruptcy in 2012 2

Unless Metz figures out a way, they might just fade into oblivion. What do you think?


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