Hijacks, theft in troubled Hyundai channel

Hijacks, theft in troubled Hyundai channel

The Hyundai notebook channel has been hit by a break-in and a hijack within the space of a week.

In an incredibly bizarre series of events, both an assembler and a reseller of Hyundai ImageQuest notebooks were robbed, as the two companies were attempting to pull off a massive notebook sales campaign

Assembler PC-Club, based in the Sydney suburb of Rhodes, had been importing components on behalf of Hyundai Digital, in order to build a large quantity of Hyundai notebooks, managing director, David Lee, said.

These notebooks are being sold by Bankstown-based reseller GTI (Global Trading Industries), a company that has been bundling the notebooks with a complete home entertainment system (DVD player, amplifier, surround sound speaker system), a printer and some software for a low $2499.

The bundle has been advertised in full-page colour ads in major newspapers and magazines.

Following this extensive marketing campaign, the reseller was swamped with customer orders.

It took ARN several days to get through to the company - one call centre staff member said that even senior management were manning the phones to cope with the demand.

The hijack

GTI claims to have become a victim of theft not long after launching this campaign.

On Wednesday, March 17, NSW Police report that a white Isuzu truck left a Bankstown warehouse owned by Global Trading Industries and headed toward Wetherill Park. The 52-year old driver was carrying a load of 680 Hyundai ImageQuest P571 notebooks, the estimated value of which was more than $1 million.

The truck was travelling through roadworks in Fairfield when a blue sedan forced the driver to stop, NSW Police reported. A man allegedly entered the vehicle and forced the driver at gunpoint to drive to another location. The driver was forced into another vehicle and was later found by members of the public in Campbell Hill Road, Guildford.

The Isuzu truck was driven away and discovered two days later, in Guildford, minus the $1 million worth of Hyundai ImageQuest notebooks.

GTI managing director, Jardine Jordan, confirmed that his business had been the victim of a theft, but said he was not able to provide any more details until police had completed their investigations.

The break-and-enter

On the weekend following the alleged truck hijacking, PC-Club’s warehouse was broken into and burgled.

PC-Club staff told ARN that the theft occurred between when they left the building (7.30pm on Saturday, March 20) and when they returned on Monday morning (March 22).

The staff claim that the offenders broke through a double-brick wall at the back of the building, in Rhodes. They got away with about $60,000 worth of stock – mostly computer components such as LCD monitors, hard drives (presumably for building personal computers), and also some completed notebook computers.

New South Wales police had fingerprinted the scene and were investigating, the staff said.

On hold

The two companies claim that the massive promotion, coupled with the thefts, has put incredible strain on their businesses.

PC-Club director, David Lee, said he was in China ensuring delivery of more components to satisfy the customer demand.

“I come back from China and there is a big hole in the back of the office,” he said.

He had no idea how an assembler and reseller involved in the same deal could both have been robbed in such a small time period.

“I am very upset about it – the computer industry is prone to crooks,” Lee said.

Customers have reported long delays in getting their hands on the hot-selling products.

“Of course, there will be a delay in delivering to end-users,” Lee said. “Something happened that we never expected. We are doing everything we can to ensure that there is a good flow of stock coming in.”

New South Wales police have asked that the IT channel watch for any Hyundai ImageQuest notebooks with serial numbers commencing with NCP5713E or NKP5713E.

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