Hitachi expects 15 per cent growth in room AC sales this year
According to its strategy, Hitachi, which is revamping its brand identity, would focus on south and west region markets.
The company, which mostly operates in the premium residential AC segment under brand Hitachi, is expecting to almost double the sales of its inverter range of ACs and around 50 per cent growth in sales of 5-star inverter ACs over the previous year.
Besides, Hitachi, which is expanding its channel network in tier-II and III markets, has also introduced new models designed specifically to cater to the first time and mid-segment AC buyers.
"We will continue to be one of the top brands in the air conditioner segment. We expect to grow much faster than the market and achieve nearly 15 per cent growth (by value) this year," said Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Chairman and Managing Director Gurmeet Singh.
"With this new brand identity, our growth addresses the inherent consumer needs and will be driven by a strong sales and marketing push in south and west markets this year," he said.
Hitachi had witnessed over 24 per cent year-on-year growth (y-o-y) in room AC last year against the industry growth of 7 per cent.
"This growth was majorly driven by the company's focus towards providing energy efficiency and green products along with easy finance options. We are one of the top brands in India with a 12 per cent market share in the AC segment and intend to add a per cent or two by the end of 2019-20," he added.
The Indian residential AC market has witnessed almost flat growth in the past two years, but Singh expects a "turnaround" this year in the industry.
"Given the timely onset of summer and the prediction of below-normal monsoon this year, we expect that the industry would see a double-digit growth over last year. Overall, higher disposable incomes, increasing electrification, changing weather conditions, growing urbanisation, year-round AC usage trend and easy access to financing schemes have been a few key factors driving the growth of AC sales in India," Singh added.
According to Singh, India is witnessing a continual shift towards inverter ACs, which now contributes around 40 per cent of the overall industry sales.
The company is investing around four per cent of its revenue into promoting the new brand through print, out-of-home, digital and other means of connecting with the consumers, he added.
"Hitachi aims to reach every Indian household and become India's leading air conditioning brand by 2021," Singh said.
The Indian room AC industry market is expected to be of around 4.5 million unit with more than 20 companies competing in the space, in which Voltas and LG are leading the space.
Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning is a joint venture of Johnson Controls, USA, and Hitachi Appliances, Japan.