Why did DJI acquire Hasselblad? Think Volvo
The Chinese startup believes it can breathe new life into a storied brand
One of the stranger stories to come out of CES this year was the news that Chinese drone maker DJI had acquired a majority stake in Hasselblad, the iconic Swedish camera company. Neither side has officially announced the move yet, but sources familiar with the situation confirmed that the reports filtering out of CES were accurate. That leaves the question of why DJI, which specialized in producing lightweight, low-energy cameras for its drones, would be interested in owning a big piece of Hasselblad, which is best known for its large, heavy, medium format cameras.
Consider what follows as informed speculation based on discussions with several sources familiar with the logic behind the deal. The best analogy for the marriage of DJI and Hasselblad is the acquisition in 2010 of the Swedish car marker Volvo by China’s Geely Motors. At the time Volvo was suffering from declining sales and lack of profits, hampered by its small scale, high production costs, and aging brand.
Geely gave Volvo the financial support it needed to aim high. The company moved to create larger vehicles that would compete directly with the top German brands. Six years later Volvo sales and profit have reached an all-time high, paving the way for a potential IPO. Continue reading about DJI and Hasselblad.