Daikin might make air purifiers in Malaysia, Japan to capture pandemic-driven demand
KUALA LUMPUR, NNA - Daikin Industries, a leading Japanese air conditioner maker, is considering producing air purifiers at its plants in Malaysia and Japan following growing interest among consumers for clean air solutions amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
As the economic fallout from the global crisis is expected to dampen overall sales this year, Daikin is banking on the growing demand for air purifiers to mitigate its impact.
It aims to increase their production of initially planned 420,000 units to 550,000 units in 2020, Takashi Abe, a Daikin Industries spokesman in Osaka, told NNA last Friday.
Daikin had outsourced the production of air purifiers in China but is now thinking of making them in Japan as well as in Malaysia where it has been producing air conditioners and other products since 2006, he said.
Air purifiers absorb dust, smoke and pollen particles apart from reducing germs and disease-causing organisms to a large extent.
In its survey carried out in Japan as the coronavirus outbreak took hold of the country and the world a few months ago, about 80 percent of respondents said they were interested in expert ventilation solutions to dispel bad air from their offices and stores.
Daikin published its recommended solutions first in Japanese on its website in April, and then in English on June 1.
Daikin Malaysia is the only air conditioner manufacturer in Malaysia. It produces a wide range of heating, ventilation and air conditioning products for the domestic market and global exports.
Daikin also sells air purifiers in Malaysia and the region where yearly haze from forest and plantation fires have driven demand for them.
Although the global market still seems uncertain for now, Daikin is bent on producing products to capture new demand, the spokesman told NNA.
In April, Daikin invested in U.S. company Locix Inc. as part of its growth strategy to accelerate its air conditoner solutions business and create new customer value by connecting aircon devices to networks and analyzing big data related to air conditioning.
Known as one of the top 100 innovative companies in the world, Daikin has achieved continuous growth for many years. However, the current pandemic, which also created disruptions to supply chains, has produced a grim outlook.
In May, the company reported a 4 percent drop in operating profit to 265.5 billion yen ($2.46 billion) for the business year ending in March 2020.
It expects the 2020 operating profit to drop much further to 150 billion yen and sales to fall to 2.33 trillion yen, down from 2.55 trillion yen achieved in fiscal 2019.