Inspired by the likes of Gateway 2000 Inc, Vobis Microcomputer AG and Escom AG,there are now a number of national clone personal computer assembling companies in Spain that are making the multinational manufacturers quake in their boots. And according to the latest sales figures published by the consultant Dataquest Corp for the first quarter of […]
Inspired by the likes of Gateway 2000 Inc, Vobis Microcomputer AG and Escom AG,there are now a number of national clone personal computer assembling companies in Spain that are making the multinational manufacturers quake in their boots. And according to the latest sales figures published by the consultant Dataquest Corp for the first quarter of 1996, two of the Spanish companies have leapfrogged top names such as Compaq Computer Corp, Apple Computer Inc and Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA to notch fourth and fifth positions in the personal computer sales ranking list, while combined clone sales now represent 20% of all personal computer sales in Spain. In fourth position behind IBM Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co and Fujitsu Ltd, Madrid-based EI System SA managed to sell 11,000 units in the first quarter reported, 69% more than last time, claiming a market share of 5.4%. The company started in 1991 with just three people; there are now 79 staff with an average age of 22 and megastores in Madrid, La Coruna and Zaragoza, with two more about to open in Barcelona and Valencia. General manager of EI System Jose Cerda observed: The clone tag does not bother us; strictly speaking all the manufacturers are clones, since the prevailing technology belongs to one single manufacturer – Intel. Cera explained that EI System offers great flexibility and speed when it comes to configuration, plus the advantage that clients can test all the equipment before buying. Our machines contain top-quality components, including Intel boards and Conner hard disks, and our quality manufacturing process has official European Community approval, Cerda confirmed. EI System’s offerings are based on Pentium with six-speed CD-ROM and other multimedia features at prices ranging from $1,133 to $1,555.
The company enjoys close ties with Intel and is about to launch Pentium machines at 200MHz ahead of many of its rivals. Like many of the clone vendors, EI System has greatly improved after-sales service and now offers 3-year guarantees and repairs, provided faults are not of a serious nature, within 24 hours. Together with Microsoft, EI System is nurturing future consumers in a month-long initiative, whereby there will be creche services available helping children to use computers while parents shop. Snapping at EI System’s heels is Tarragona, Catalonia-based Sintronic SA, which assembles its own Novo brand of personal computer; the firm holds a market share of 5.3%, having sold 10,800 units in this first quarter, 44% more than last time. The bulk of Sintronic’s activities is focused on the distribution of computing products, but the firm aims to sell 60,000 Novo boxes by the end of the year to improve on 1995 turnover of $120.2m. The philosophy behind the Novo brand is a good product at a good price, with our own after-sales service, according to marketing director Sylvia Mallevrein, who said purchasers are usually from among the liberal professions, know what they are buying and in many cases have found it problematic to build on their big-name equipment in the past. Another up-and-coming Catalan firm is Reus-based Beep Datalogic SA, which reported growth of 30% to top sales of 9,000 units of its Tay clone in the first quarter of this year. Beep boasts a strong sales channel with over 100 points of sale throughout Spain, 78 of which are franchise outlets, and besides the home-grown Tay brand that embraces a family of computers with 13 different configurations, it also markets brands such as IBM, Epson Corp, Texas Instruments Inc and Hewlett-Packard. The firm also relies heavily for sales on its Beep News newsletter, 2 million copies of which are published throughout Spain twice a year. Beep aims to sell 40,000 of its own personal computers to notch turnover of $85.9m in 1996. A final mention should be made of the last of the bunch of Spanish manufacturers, Valencia-based Jump SA, which has lived up to its name by appearing from nowhere to take eighth position in Dataquest’s ranking, having sold 8,500 machines, 157% more than last time, giving it market share of 4.2%. á