Exclusive: The future of TAG McLaren Audio looks bleak, all future product development will cease and the company is likely to withdraw completely from the audio/video markets following an internal review; this was the bombshell Chief Executive Office Dr. Udo Zucker dropped on TAG dealers earlier today.
The news will come as a huge shock to owners of TAG McLaren hardware who have often cited the company’s upgrade policy as one of the primary reasons for choosing the brand. TAG had even been talking about the development of high-resolution source components supporting DVD-Audio and/or SACD, but it now seems clear that these plans will not come to fruition, and nor will any future upgrades for their acclaimed AV32R and AV192R processors.
The full text of the company’s announcement, sent to U.K. dealers today, reads as follows:
“From its inception in 1998, TAG McLaren Audio Ltd. has dedicated itself to producing the finest quality audio and audio visual equipment available. The standard and quality of our products have been evident through the numerous awards of excellence and countless exceptional product reviews.
“However, the present world economy has had a significant impact on the market for high quality audio and audio visual products and this has made it increasingly difficult to operate on commercially acceptable margins consistent with the levels of development investment required.
“It is for these reasons that TAG McLaren Audio Ltd. will cease development of new products and will forthwith commence a full strategic review of its continued participation in the audio and audio visual markets.
“Warranty, repair services and a helpdesk facility will continue to be available, whatever the outcome of the new strategic review.
“Products already introduced into the market and their relevant, existing upgrades will remain available for the time being.
“The following hardware upgrades are almost completed and will be made available shortly: Software upgrade ‘Height Channel’ for the AV32R DP/AV192R and for the time being the Video Scaler Module VSM2048 for the AV192R.
“An improved sales margin of 41.5% will be applied to all shipments leaving after 28.07.2003.
“Any orders placed with us and not yet delivered have been suspended, awaiting further instructions from the dealer.
Dr. Udo Zucker, Chief Executive Office, TAG McLaren Audio Ltd.”
High Fidelity Review would suggest that any TAG owners concerned by this announcement should contact their own dealer or get in touch with TAG directly via E-mail at [email protected] It should be noted that the TAG McLaren web site is currently off-line, probably as a result of today’s startling news.