Where has Kenwood Gone? 2022 version

With their absence at Hamvention 2022 where they have been one of the stallworths for decades or other post-virus ham fest  like Hamcation, Hams are asking “What has happened to Kenwood?

Big Kenwood Rigs Not Available: You could call all their distributors to find that the flagship TS-990S transceiver is out of stock with no restock date, that some of the bigger distributors might have a TS-890S in stock but most have none, and yet cover/full-page ads in QST tell you these models are the best transceivers in the ham market. (Without mention in those ads that you can’t actually buy one of course).

Kenwood Repair Changes: Kenwood has used outside electronics repair depots for warranty and repair services for decades, and they switched third-party depots fairly recently.  That switch didn’t catch the attention of some hams, who struggled to get repairs sorted out, further fueling speculation of Kenwood’s exodus.

Kenwood not officially talking about any these issues:  Like many big companies, official messaging needs corporate approval.  At Kenwood the folks you can track down will tell you that they are not authorized to speak for their company or make a statement.

That is usually a fairly selective stance, as they will off-the-record talk about some things even though they will not talk about other subjects.

So what we do know is:

  • They made a commercial decision to skip Hamvention 2022 for cost reasons and with the reality they cannot ship product to sell.
  • They don’t have stock for some products, and can’t/won’t speak to when or even whether they will have more.  So that in nutshell means they have nothing to sell hams right now in their big ticket product range.
  • They unofficially note that part supplies are an issue, and any solution will take some time.
  • You can contact them at the email address for Kenwood USA support: kcc-amateur@us.jvckenwood.com
  • The switched their service depot contractor fairly recently, and the latest information is: Kenwood Warranty repair/service centers USA: https://www.kenwood.com/usa/Support/National_Service_Centers/ –  as of June 2022 the Amateur Radio specific one is https://www.unitedradio.com/

But they do say they are NOT throwing in the towel, even though they also are not breaking a sweat telling their story to the ham community in any official way.

So the amateur radio HF part of Kenwood is sort of in a holding pattern, where they are wondering if they will do the approach for landing the ham market with new rigs, or if simply run out of fuel circling until the market forgets them?

What does this mean to Joe Ham?

  • Look Secondhand: If you want a TS-990S or TS-890S after the last few new TS-890S units sell out, you are likely looking to make a secondhand purchase.
  • Be Really Patient: If you really want that new unit, the wait time is undefined as is whether a new production run is going to happen.
  • Hang onto the One you Have: If you have one of these transceivers and like the way it performs for you, do not let another ham talk you into letting it go, as you likely will not get another one anytime soon.
  • Yes, You can Get it Fixed: If you have one of these transceivers needing warranty/repair service, you have a new contracted repair depot able to do the work.

As you can not buy their big transceivers, unless you already have one does any of this even matter?

73

Steve
K9ZW

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