Hitachi is launching a new advertising campaign. Set to break in a week on major television channels, the commercials will highlight the company's new product range, Atom, claimed to contain the smallest split air-conditioners.
The campaign, designed by Leo Burnett, will focus on the `very small, very powerful' qualities of this range, Mr Amit Doshi, Vice-President (Marketing and Service Operations), Hitachi Home & Life Solutions (India) Ltd, said. The Atom, named so for its size and power, is around 30 per cent smaller than conventional split ACs and comes in 1-, 1.5- and 2-tonne capacities. It has an energy efficiency ratio (more cooling but less power consumption) of over 10, he said, adding that most ACs in the market averaged 9.2.
The company has discontinued production of the economy Amtrex brand as it did not fit in with Hitachi's premium image, Mr Doshi said. Today, Hitachi sells at a 25 per cent premium to the competition, and still maintains its 14 per cent market share, he added. Hitachi last year acquired the 19.4 per cent shareholding of its joint venture partner, the Lalbhai group, in Amtrex Hitachi Appliances Ltd.
Hitachi also aims to make more split ACs. As of now, window ACs account for 70 per cent of its production but Hitachi hopes split ACs will account for 35 per cent soon. Apart from a plant in Kadi near Ahmedabad, the company has two facilities, one each in Jammu and Parwanoo (Himachal Pradesh). The AC market is pegged at 7.5 lakh units per year, which is minuscule in comparison to China where it is estimated at eight million units, Mr Doshi said. Erratic electricity supply and high tariffs were impediments but the Indian market is poised for huge growth in the next 10 years as these problems are expected to sort themselves out, he added. However, rising input costs have dashed hopes for a dip in AC prices this year, which are likely to go up by 2-3 per cent, he said.