TAG Heuer CEO: Watchmaker Pushing into China

On Saturday, the CEO of LVMH’s Swiss luxury watchmaker said the company was pushing the brand TAG Heuer in China, as its rivals pull back their investment in the most populous country in the world due to demand becoming weaker.

Jean-Claude Biver the Chief Executive Officer of TAG Heuer said the company was pushing hard especially at the current time, much more that before due to all the other brands scaling back their investments in the country. He added that it meant their investment would now become much stronger.

TAG has just minimal exposure across China as well as Hong Kong. It growth in 2016 is mainly from Britain, Australia, Japan and the United States, said Biver during an event held by the company in Montreal for the race the Canadian Grand Prix.

Biver added that sales at TAG expanded by 20% between January and the end of May this year, in comparison to the same five month period during 2015, on much more demand from the above mentioned four countries as well as for its wearables that are able to connect to the Web.

While the TAG Heuer CEO expected previously to have sales of between 40,000 and 50,000 of is connectable smartwatches, he added that he now has hopes that the company will ship 60,000 and is hoping to face a demand for as many as 80,000 watches.

Biver added that he remains confident that sales will reach double digits for its TAG Heuer brand during 2016.

We will attempt to keep up the pace the full year, but at the moment things are very difficult almost everywhere around the globe, added Biver.

Biver also said that the sales in the watch industry in Switzerland dropped by 9% from January through the end of May of this year based on the full year, due to weaker demand in China as well as other emerging markets.

He added that the watch industry in Switzerland overall had more exposure across China than does TAG.

Biver said the most important part for him was that he beat the rest of the watch industry in Switzerland. If he can end up better than the rest of the industry it means he gained in market share. The more the market becomes difficult, the more important it becomes to gain a bigger share of the market.