UPDATE: Sharp shifting washing machine production to Indonesia from Thailand
――Adds official comments at bottom, byline, fixes name in 4th para
By Merliyani Pertiwi
JAKARTA, NNA - Sharp Corp. has started producing automatic washing machines in Indonesia as the Japanese electronics company seeks to consolidate and boost efficiency by shifting capacity from Thailand.
PT Sharp Electronics Indonesia (SEID) has invested 40 billion rupiah ($2.9 million) to add production lines with an annual capacity of 400,000 units at its existing factory in Karawang International Industrial City in West Java. It began assembling automatic washing machines late last month.
Sharp has been producing twin-tub washing machines at the plant since 2008, with a current annual capacity of 1.1 million units. The Osaka-based company will continue making refrigerators and air conditioners in Thailand.
The relocation and consolidation are “aimed at building a more efficient production system globally,” Tadashi Ohyama, chief executive of SEID, told reporters at the plant on Tuesday. He said he saw demand for fully automatic washing machines from double-income households in urban areas.
Only 30 to 40 percent of Indonesian households are estimated to be using washing machines, according to Sharp. About 3.5 million washers are sold annually, 85 percent of them twin-tub models.
Sharp aims to raise its share of the washing machine market in Indonesia to about 30 percent from 26 percent in fiscal 2018 that ended in March, though officials did not give a timeframe. It also plans to start exporting washing machines made in Indonesia to other Southeast Asian countries and the Middle East.
SEID national sales senior general manager Andry Adi Utomo told NNA that exports were scheduled to begin in September.
“As a first step, we target exports of washing machines to reach 10% of total production this year,” he said. Sharp aims to increase the share to 20 percent next year and 30 percent by 2030, he added.