From January, HP is to start selling Compaq PCs in Germany again - because it needs a downmarket brand to help it better compete with the local market leader Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC).
Compaq, you will recall, always charged more than its competitors, but it was not particularly strong in Germany, where the brand disappeared soon after the company was bought by HP. The Compaq name is still to be found in other markets, including the US and the UK.
Martin Kinne, who runs HP in Germany, told the Financial Times Deutschland (translation by way of Heise Online) that "with Compaq, we want to achieve larger volumes than we have been able to achieve with a single brand".
In other words, he wants to protect the HP name from price erosion, while dredging bottom-feeders with Compaq. FSC has 16.5 per cent of the German PC market and HP is second with 14.3 per cent, according to IDC. ®