With the winters fast receding and people bracing for another hot summer, air-conditioner manufacturers are becoming active, launching new models and embarking on high decibel promotional campaigns. Players like Voltas, Videocon, LG, Samsung and Haier share their marketing plans for the season ahead with exchange4media.
India saw the sale of nearly 1.8 million ACs in 2007, which is expected to exceed 2.25 million units by the end of 2008, a growth of 25 per cent.
Every major player is beefing up its product portfolio with new launches. LG Electronics unveiled its new line of ACs for this year on February 19. The company’s advertising campaign would spread across TVC, print, Internet and BTL activities. The company is launching ‘Star-rated’ ACs. The new range is priced between Rs 22,990 and Rs 35,990. The second variety are the ‘floor standing’ ACs, which can be installed anywhere in the room, and is priced between Rs 49,000 and Rs 100,000. LG has also launched its ‘Art Cool’ series, which have enhanced capacity and it come with unique features such as hot and cold functions. This series is priced between Rs 40,000 and to Rs 50,000.
Moon B Shin, Managing Director, LGEIL, said, “Leveraging on our cutting edge technologies and design aspect, we will continue to deliver a comprehensive range of products blending best class functionalities and aesthetics to enable consumers to enjoy fresh air and a more restful and healthy life. With the launch of this new line of ACs, LGEIL plans to capture around 35 per cent of the air conditioner market by the year end.”
He further said, “The company expects to achieve 65 per cent growth in AC volume this year, out of which the contribution of split ACs is expected to go up from 50 per cent in 2007 to 58 per cent in 2008.”
Rajiv Jain, Business Group Head-Air Conditioner, LGEIL, said, “We at LGEIL are constantly striving towards developing the market with innovative, state-of-the-art technology products. The new range of LG air conditioners has stunning aesthetics and superior technology to cater to the needs of the urban consumer. The launch of this new range is yet another initiative to address the needs of customers across the segments.”
Samsung India Electronics Pvt Ltd also launched its range of Biosleep air conditioners on February 19. Samsung has 18 models of split ACs in the Vivace, Neo Forte and Forte series and are priced between Rs 17,790 and Rs 32,390. And in the window AC segment, it has 11 models priced between Rs 15,230 and Rs 22,990. The company is eyeing a 22 per cent market share in air conditioners this year and plans to strengthen its AC business through an aggressive sales channel expansion for its home appliances business as well as expansion of its service network.
R Zutshi, Deputy MD, Samsung India, said, “Product differentiation in the form of the Biosleep feature, the Samsung Ultra tropical rotary compressor and the design of Samsung air conditioners, coupled with our enhanced channel penetration, should help us achieve our targeted 65 per cent increase in AC volumes this year.”
Voltas Ltd is also launching nearly 43 AC models in split, slim line, ductable and cassette variants this year across all categories. The company will advertise in all mass media, including TVC, print, Internet and BTL activities. The estimated market share of Voltas as on December 31, 2007 stood at 17-18 per cent. However, there is no industry report available determining the copany’s market share of the AC industry.
Pradeep Bakshi, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Voltas Ltd, said, “The gaps have been identified and we are formalising plans to introduce new models in specific categories. Also, retail holds much importance in our scheme of things, and strategies are being worked out accordingly for the coming season. The current household AC market for the calendar year 2007 stood at 19 lakh-plus with a CAGR of 30 per cent. The market is witnessing huge growth and inclusion of new technology. This growth can be attributed to the increased penetration obtained beyond the metros, easily affordable on the current price levels, given the changing lifestyles of people.”
Videocon has done a soft launch for its 23 AC models in the Integra, Grace, Splender, Vista categories. The ACs are priced between Rs 11,000 and Rs 90,000. Videocon will begin their ad campaign from April 2008 onwards. Videocon’s current market share is around 8-9 per cent.
Abhishek Lal, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Videocon (AC Division), said, “It is the best offering from Videocon to its customers. The newer models of air-conditioners have better features, are better at energy conservation, producing no noise and provide quality cooling with chilling factor.”
Haier also announced the launch of its energy efficient range of air-conditioners for the Indian market on March 6, 2008. The new air-conditioner range comprises 16 split AC models and nine window AC models. With the introduction of the new models, Haier has a line-up of 32 AC models. The company is targeting 9-10 per cent market share of the AC market in FY09.
The entire new range would be is vailable in retail outlets selling Haier products as well as in the company’s exclusive Planet Haier showrooms across the country. The price range for ACs is between Rs 11,990 and Rs 15,990.