Toshiba targets bigger share of Thai electrical appliance market

BANGKOK, NNA - Toshiba Thailand Co. has optimistically forecast consumer spending on electrical appliances will recover next year after leveling off in the past 12 months, helping boost its sales revenue 5 percent in fiscal year 2017.

Masaaki Kimura, president of Toshiba Thailand, an official distributor of Toshiba brand products, says the Thai economy will be "better" next year as the government and private sector are trying to boost consumption expenditure while the upcoming traveling season will bring greater spending from inbound visitors.

The proportion of sales revenue from information technology products has decreased from 30 percent previously to 10 percent of the total since a shift in the company's sales strategy from mainly targeting consumers to focusing on corporate customers such as companies, government offices and educational institutes due to their higher demand, according to Kimura.

To build up sales and increase market share, Toshiba has reinforced its product lineup, especially air conditioners, televisions and fridges, for domestic distribution from this yearend to next summer as consumer spending is expected to recover gradually during the period.

The Thai air conditioner market is currently running at 1.2 million units worth 12 billion baht ($336 million) a year, marking a high growth rate of 10 percent this year thanks to the country's hot weather.

Toshiba launched last Thursday nine air conditioner models, including some with inverter systems, in a bid to offset a decrease in income from IT products as the company sees opportunities to grow in the air conditioner market, aiming to raise its share from the current 2 percent to 10 percent in the next four to five years.

Concerning TVs, Toshiba, now ranked fifth with a 10 percent market share, aims to boost it to 15 percent next year by offering over 20 models covering analog, digital, smart and 4K ultra-high definition TVs.

The Thai TV market, worth about 24 billion baht with 2.4 million sets sold a year, is estimated to shrink 4-5 percent this year but the company foresees growth of about 5 percent next year, recovering to the 2015 level of 2.5 million sets.

Toshiba is a market leader in the one-door fridge segment with a 32 percent market share but holds only 10 percent of the two-door fridge market. It plans to launch two new two-door models with luxury design targeting middle- to high-income customers next year in an effort to increase its market share to 13-14 percent. (NNA/Kyodo)