Hitachi aims to become leader of Thai elevator market in 2020

BANGKOK, NNA - The Thai elevator and escalator distributor of Japan's Hitachi Ltd. is projecting aggressive sales growth to restore its top position in the local market in the next three years.

Michael Tang, vice president of Hitachi Elevator (Thailand) Co. who has taken on a new role as head of its sales and marketing unit, said the company aims to increase its market share to 25 percent in 2020 from the current 17 percent in pursuit of market leader Mitsubishi Electric Corp. of Japan.

Hitachi was the market leader before the Asian financial crisis in 1997, which caused sales to decrease, Tang said.

To attain the goal, the company needs to achieve annual sales growth of 20 percent on average and is seeking to sell 1,000 units this year, up 18 percent from 850 units in 2016. Of the 2017 total, elevators are expected to account for 70 percent and escalators 30 percent.

Thailand's elevator and escalator market, totaling about 5,500 units last year, is expected to grow 3 to 5 percent this year thanks to business expansion in the real estate and retail industries as well as public utility development in the country.

Demand for home elevators will grow significantly in the next one to two years due to the rapidly aging population in Thailand, Tang said.

The company forecast demand from the private sector, especially department stores and hospitals, will increase as government spending on infrastructure projects will motivate them to invest more, boosting the sales ratio of that sector to 65 to 80 percent in 2020.

Hitachi expanded the annual capacity of its Thai plant from 1,500 units to 2,500 units last year and opened a regional training center in the country early this year to train and educate engineers from other Asian countries as well.

The Japanese company plans to continue selling Thai-built products in overseas markets, expecting to boost the Thai arm's revenue from exports to 60 percent of the total in 2020 from 10 percent at present. (NNA/Kyodo)