Panasonic to sell more higher-end appliances in Philippines
MANILA, NNA – Panasonic Corp. will launch 34 new models in its home appliance lineup in the Philippines next fiscal year, putting a greater focus on middle-range to high-end products in response to consumer demand.
“We have shifted our strategy to a more premium lineup as consumer preferences are changing toward middle- to high-end models,” Shinichi Hayashi, president of Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines Corp. told NNA.
In its new business year starting on April 1, the local unit will introduce nine new models of air conditioner, eight types of refrigerator and six kinds of washing machine, among other items.
The nine air conditioner models will be equipped with the ‘nanoe’ function, Panasonic’s technology to produce nanometer-sized electrostatic atomized water particles that improve air quality.
The company will also use inverter technology on low- and middle-priced air conditioners in response to rising demand from middle-income consumers. An inverter is used to control the speed of the compressor motor in order to regulate the temperature continuously.
“We see higher consumer demand for refrigerators with the energy-saving inverter function and fully automatic washing machines in the greater Manila area,” Hayashi said in a recent phone interview with NNA.
Of the 34 models, the Philippine unit plans to manufacture 18 locally, reducing imports. It will increase the number of locally manufactured refrigerator models to 13 from four.
In April, Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines will transfer the production of washing machines and fans from its plant in Taytay, Rizal Province to another one in Santa Rosa, Laguna Province, where it makes air conditioners.
The total area of the production lines for washing machines and fans will more than double from 3,000 square meters to 7,000 square meters after the relocation, according to Hayashi.
The Philippine unit’s sales of air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines are expected to grow at a double-digit percentage pace annually for the next three business years, he said.