While the US and some European countries tackle the symptoms of personal computer market saturation, manufacturers and analysts in Spain are forecasting that their country will last out another five years before beginning to suffer. Since 1985 Spain has kept up an average annual growth rate in personal computer sales of 54% and estimates for […]
While the US and some European countries tackle the symptoms of personal computer market saturation, manufacturers and analysts in Spain are forecasting that their country will last out another five years before beginning to suffer. Since 1985 Spain has kept up an average annual growth rate in personal computer sales of 54% and estimates for this year and next are around 50% and 35% respectively. In a recent report by Intelligent Electronics, Spain was in sixth place having sold 317,000 personal computers (worth $1,019m) last year, but in the growth ranking, the country was second, beaten only by the Netherlands. The Spanish market now in fact represents 6.5% of the European total and 1% worldwide having absorbed 180,000 systems in the first part of this year (for $645m). IBM, Amstrad, Investronica, Tandon and Olivetti lead that market with respective market shares of 19.7%, 12%, 10.9%, 10.3% and 7% for the six months to June 30 1989. For both Amstrad and Investronica these figures represent slight declines as a result of increasingly strong competition from other companies. Amstrad, however, of all the multinationals, experienced the most spectacular launch into Spain. It began distributing personal computers through a company called Indescomp which reported sales of $9.4m in its first year and expanded by 188% over three years, reporting sales for 1987 at $171m. In fact when Amstrad Plc decided to step in, Indescomp was already much stronger than most of Amstrad’s European subsidiaries, and the multinational, instead of taking Indescomp over, had to settle for one seat on the company’s governing board. Last year Amstrad Espana sold 253,000 microcomputers, 47% of the total Spanish market. The big question now is whether the company has peaked in Spain. It certainly has the Spanish company Investronica on its tail, with personal computer sales of 36,488 last year and 19,850 for the first six months of this year. Investronica started up in 1981 as a computer-aided design and manufacturing marketing department for Spanish textile industry leader Induyco. Later the company started importing personal computers for the fireside market which were sold by the chain store El Corte Ingles and its own distribution network. Now it turns over more than $100m of which $41.5m is derived from export. In two years it has sold 72,000 of its Inves PC range launched in 1986 and is also trying to consolidate its offerings for the professional market. This year it has launched a new range of 80286 and 80386 machines with peripherals. IBM meanwhile boasts steady increases of over 50% in the number of personal computers it has sold after, it is suggested, adopting new strategies (including price reductions, a return to medium range computers and an alliance with competitors) following three years of losses. Last year IBM sold 50,240 personal computer systems for an 18% market share, selling a further 33,450 systems in the first half of this year. IBM leads hands down on turnover, reporting $234m last year and $159m to June 30 this year. Tandon which opened for business in Spain in 1986 now says it will sell 32,000 systems next year. This could well happen as the company gives a 40% margin to its distributors, sells its systems, which are slightly more powerful than its competitors, for 20% to 40% less and offers the Data Pack exchangeable hard disks. Olivetti, the last of the top five, in fact held third postion in revenue terms for the first half of this year, ahead of Amstrad and Investronica. The Spanish personal computer market is evidently faring better than it counterparts elsewhere in Europe.
Apple, Compaq scarcely visible
Also worth a mention in this market is Philips, which sells through two companies in Spain, Philips Iberica and Philips Informatica Comunicaciones, and which obtained high growth figures last year. The company was sixth in Intelligent Electronic’s ranking, selling 19,230 systems in 1986 for $43m. Also expanding in Spain is Atari which sold 8,350 personal computers in Spain last year and, with the help of its factor
y in Taiwan, is not only attempting to cover a wide size range but is also combining advance technology with low prices in its compatibles. Other companies of note are Otesa and Epson each of which holds about 2% of the market. Only Apple and, perhaps, Compaq do not seem to have found their niche in the Spanish market yet. Apple got to Spain only in 1985, had various problems regarding distributors and now finds that it has not increased its market share in Spain at all despite performing reasonably well elsewhere in Europe. Similarly Compaq, while it has broken records in the US and ranks sixth in Europe’s figures, doesn’t feature in the Spanish market. Other companies active in the Spanish personal computer market include Hewlett-Packard, NCR, Unisys, Bull, Noman, Emsa, Sanyo, Nixdorf and Fujitsu.