INDIA: While increased prices and cooler weather this year are forcing companies to contemplate a third flat year in India - after predictions of 15-20% growth - the world's leading air conditioning manufacturers are still itching to capitalise on the predicted boom in the market.
Panasonic, having just passed the milestone of one million air conditioner sales in India since entering the country in 2008, is reported to have committed over £14m in the split air-conditioner segment this year in an attempt to capture around 20% of the market.
Meanwhile, Daikin has announced plans to ramp up production at its Neemrana plant in Rajastan to its maximum capacity of 500,000 units per annum by the end of this year. The Japanese manufacturer has reportedly spent £90m on its Indian operations since establishing its plant in 2010 to produce commercial VRV units and chillers and residential splits. Daikin India values the market at around £1.7bn, growing by 10-12% per year with provincial areas registering almost double the growth.
LG Electronics India has dubbed 2014 a turnaround year for the company in the region. While the company has reportedly come under pressure across the whole consumer durables sector from both Indian brands and its Korean rival Samsung, air conditioning sales are said to have fared particularly badly.
The indigenous Indian manufacturer Voltas has chipped away at LG's dominance, LG seeing its share dropping to 24% from around 28% two years ago. The company is now aiming at a double digit increase in the sales of their refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners.