Whirlpool of India, a subsidiary of Whirlpool Corp., a global manufacturer and marketer of home appliances, is trying to regain lost ground in the domestic consumer electronics market by expanding its product range. The company, on Tuesday, said it would spend $15-20 million (Rs64.5-86 crore) on launching new products over the next 18 months.
Whirlpool, which is present in four product segments—washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, and microwave ovens—launched new products in all segments, except microwave ovens, and ventured into a new area, dryers.
The company has a market share of 25% in refrigerators and 15% in washing machines; it is a small player in the other segments. “Our target is to achieve 27% and 18% market share in the refrigerator and washing machine segments in 2007 and attain leadership in the frost-free refrigerators segment. We are already the market leaders in the direct cool segment (of refrigerators),” said the company’s managing director Arvind Uppal.
The consumer electronics industry in India is dominated by LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd and Samsung India Electronics Ltd. These two account for almost 50% of the industry. Whirlpool claims that in the household appliances market, a sub-set of the larger consumer electronics one, it’s No. 2 after LG. “Whirlpool is currently growing faster than theindustry,” said the company’s vice-president (marketing) Arvind Uppal.
Industry body Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association says the household appliances market was valued at Rs10,000 crore in 2006 and grew at 10% that year. This year, the association expects the market to grow at a similar rate.