Sharp has been granted the license of Pioneer's 'Elite' brand for a line of high-end flat panel LCD displays to be introduced in the U.S. and Canada this year.
The deal resurrects the "Elite" brand which Pioneer had used for its high-end plasma HDTV line up until last year, when Pioneer discontinued their plasma TV business operations. It is believed Sharp will re-brand their "Quattron" line to "Elite" in the coming months.
Pioneer still markets a line of high-end audio/video receivers, Blu-ray Disc players and speakers under the Elite brand, which enjoys a substantial high-end customer following and a strong, established dealer network. By marketing an LCD TV line under the Elite brand, Sharp will expand the distribution of its premium large-scale TVs. In turn, the addition of a line of large-screen LCD TVs will complement Pioneer's Elite home theater offerings. The Elite line of LCD TVs, which will be jointly marketed by Sharp and Pioneer, will be available through Pioneer's authorized Elite dealer network.
"As a leader in large screen LCD TV, we are excited to collaborate with Pioneer to bring a high-end LCD TV to the Elite consumer," said John Herrington, President of Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America. "The Elite brand is highly respected in the high end market and Sharp can deliver the quality and innovation that Elite customers demand."
"Adding a line of high-end flat panel TVs fills a market need in the industry and will help reinforce the strength of a complete Elite home theater offering," said Russ Johnston, Executive VP, Home Electronics Department, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "With its cutting edge LCD technology and unmatched production capabilities, Sharp is an important strategic collaborator that will deliver a whole new dimension to the large-screen home theater experience."