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New Delhi: Samsung India is rolling out more than 20 new models of fully automatic washing machines as the consumer electronics major eyes a larger market share in a category that has seen a rise in demand as consumers look for products that make their life at home more convenient.

Samsung plans to increase its market share from the current 24.6% in the fully automatic washing machine category to 32% by the end of the third quarter, said Raju Pullan, senior vice president, consumer electronics business, Samsung India.

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The EcoBubble range of fully automatic front-load washing machines will be available in 21 models--16 of them AI-enabled.

Market share gains will hinge on sales of front-load washing machines which registered the fastest growth within the fully automatic range last year, he said.

Last year, consumer appliances companies reported a strong demand for washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers and other cooking appliances.

“We have seen two big changes in consumer behaviour—consumers are looking at products that are much more automated, IOT enabled and products that have larger capacity. We have seen stronger upgrades into fully automatic. We have seen that demand for washing machines in tier 1 and tier 2 towns has grown," said Pullan.

Consumers, said Pullan, are fast moving to the fully automatic segment in the current scenario because they're seeking convenience as a critical driver for making washing machine purchases.

“We've seen a faster shift into higher capacity washing machines and more premium washing machines, not only for washing machines, but also for the other categories post covid restrictions being relaxed," he said.

The AI enabled models work on an English and Hindi user experience. The AI learns and remembers laundry habits and suggests the most frequently used wash cycle. This smart Internet of Things (IoT) enabled washing machine line up can be connected with Samsung smart devices such as Galaxy smartphones, Samsung Smart TVs and Family Hub refrigerators as well as voice devices such as Alexa and Google Home to give users a seamless connected living experience, the company said.

Semi-automatic washing machines make up about 40% of the category, while 60% of sales come from the fully automatic version.

In 2019, 70 lakh units of washing machines were sold in India. Several large companies such as Bosch, IFB, LG, Whirlpool among others operate in the market.

“Washing machine have always been one of our strong pillars in India. And we've seen over the last couple of quarters—the fully automatic growth has been fairly strong, in fact," he said.

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