Fujifilm CEO: camera shortages are “normal” if you want to create brand power similar to Leica

I have been reporting for years on the trend for companies to announce supply shortages because of the high demand for new products. In 99% of the cases, the new products are widely available without any signs of production delays. When there is a real shortage, like in the case of the new X100 VI camera, it's becuase Fujifilm wants to create brand power similar to Leica. In a recent Q$A session with a financial analyst, Teiichi Goto (Fujifilm President and CEO) confirmed that shortages are part of the company's strategy and gave Leica as an example:

According to the Q&A session, Fujifilm considers the current camera inventory situation to be "normal," so it doesn't seem to think that there is a problem with the current situation. They said, "It would be a waste to produce too many and lower the price," and "Our goal is to increase our brand power and maintain high prices like Leica," so perhaps they are intentionally restricting product supply in order to achieve that goal. (via Digicame-info)

Don’t expect the Fujifilm X100VI camera to be in stock anytime soon

Here is the full text:

Shimamoto [Q]: One more question about imaging. I think that January to March is going well, but Canon and others have had some inventory adjustments and have had some tough financial results. I wonder if your camera business, including the instax, will not experience any inventory adjustments or changes in the market for both digital cameras and instax this year. I think you have a fairly strong plan, so could you tell us about the current situation in this area?

Goto [A]: Thanks to you, the Imaging Business achieved very good results in fiscal 2023, with sales in the upper 400 billion yen range and a profit margin of just over 21%. Despite having back orders, we were able to achieve good results in the 4th quarter as well, and we were able to achieve these results for the full year.

The key is how much brand power you can create and how you can maintain it. So, making too much and lowering the price would be a waste, and what Fujifilm has been trying to do for a long time is finally coming true.

We would like to lead the entire imaging business, including the Instax camera, by focusing on how to build brand power and how to maintain the value of the property that our customers have purchased.

To use an analogy, I say within the company that the famous German manufacturer Leica maintains a fairly high value for both its old and current cameras, and that is our goal. Our goal with mirrorless cameras is to fundamentally change the way Fujifilm has sold its cameras up until now.

Shimamoto [Q]: I understand. Just to confirm, is it correct to understand that the inventory situation is normal?

Goto [A]: Yes.

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