DVD gets extra U.S., Euro push

Marketing expected to spur sluggish market

TOKYO — Japanese electronics companies will step up overseas marketing campaigns for digital videodisc (DVD) players in order to find new markets for the pricey machines, which have not been selling well at home because of Japan’s economic slump, a Japanese financial daily reported Thursday.

As of the end of March, DVD player sales in Japan stood at 200,000 units, much lower than previous estimates for the market. But markets in the U.S. and Europe have been performing much better than expected, and these will be the places where Japanese electronics companies step up their marketing, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.

Sony, Sharp and Yamaha plan to start DVD sales in Europe this month, while Victor Co. of Japan plans a June entry. Hitachi and Kenwood are planning marketing campaigns in Europe this summer.

Currently Matsushita Electric Industrial, Toshibaand Pioneer Electronic Corp. sell DVD players in Europe They have tallied combined sales of 100,000 players. Aiwa Co. will start its overseas marketing in the U.S. with a May launch of its new players.