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Whirlpool bid for top spot

19-November-2004
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Whirlpool bid for top spot

Whirlpool of India Ltd is working on a new strategy for its air-conditioner business. At present, it gets its ACs assembled by different companies. The new strategy is expected to be finalised in 2005, according to Mr Arvind Mediratta, Vice President-Marketing, Whirlpool. He, however, declined to provide details.

At present, the company sources kits for split ACs from China and gets them assembled by two or three companies in India. Window ACs are assembled by a Hyderabad-based company, according to him. The design and components for these are provided by Whirlpool.

The new strategy that is being drawn up is to help Whirlpool achieve its objective of becoming the Number 1 brand in home appliances in India. At present, it is strong in washing machines and refrigerators and the strategy will be to strengthen its market position in air-conditioners and microwave ovens. It imports microwave ovens from China, according to Mr Mediratta.

He was addressing a press conference here on Thursday in connection with the launch of Whirlpool's front loading washing machine, Sensation, and the Duet range of refrigerators.

Mr Mediratta and Mr Dinesh Sharma, Director-Marketing, were confident that the front loading washing machines would do well in the market despite the 7-8 per cent premium they have because of the features they incorporate. The Sensation washing machines have a capacity of 6.5 kg and have "stainwash" feature that would remove nine different kinds of stains.

Initially, Whirlpool expects these machines to contribute about 20 per cent of its washing machine sales, which would go up to 33 per cent - reflecting the industry trend - within 18 months. The company is targeting 25 per cent market share and Rs 100-crore turnover from the front loading machines by 2006.

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