China's Midea to produce Toshiba brand electronics in India

14, Aug. 2020

Photo by 潇 文 on Unsplash
Photo by 潇 文 on Unsplash

By Mana Enokida

NEW DELHI, NNA - Chinese home appliance giant Midea Group Co. will start producing Toshiba brand electronics in India next year after nearly a decade-long hiatus in response to the local government's self-reliant "Make In India" policy.

Midea plans to invest 13.5 billion rupees ($180 million) in building three factories to manufacture Toshiba brand products in the western state of Maharashtra, a spokeswoman for Toshiba Lifestyle Products and Services Corp. under the wing of Midea told NNA last week.

Carrier Midea India Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture established in 2012 by Midea and Carrier Global Corp. of the United States, which has a business alliance with the Toshiba Corp. group, will make refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves and other products in phases at the planned factories in an industrial park in the state from 2021, she said.

Midea acquired a controlling stake in Toshiba Lifestyle, Toshiba's spun-off home appliance unit headquartered in Kawasaki, west of Tokyo, in 2016.

The Indian joint venture will shift from the sale of items imported from China and Thailand to locally made products as the Indian government is raising tariffs on various imported items, including home electronics, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative to leverage domestic manufacturing.

The spokeswoman did not disclose details such as production capacity at the planned three plants but said the group aims to achieve annual growth of 10 to 15 percent in the sales of large appliances and home electronics items in Asia's third-largest economy and gain an average 5 percent market share in the sector.

As part of its global restructuring, Toshiba withdrew from the home appliance business in India in 2012, she said, adding the Japanese group resumed sales of some small home electronics products like water heaters and rice cookers in 2019.

Hard hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese group has delayed its local production plan in India from this year to 2021.

Currently, it sells water heaters, dishwashers, washing and drying machines, refrigerators, and air purifiers, among other products, through home appliance stores and small shops across the country, according to the spokeswoman. (NNA/Kyodo)