Published on February 21, 2008
Product manager Boonyarat Trisirisombat yesterday said consumers aged 27-45 and the third generation living especially in urban areas, which are its targets, tended to upgrade their washing machines from the old twin-tub type to single-tub automatic top-loading models as infrastructure improvements provided sufficient water pressure.
The single-tub machines help save on water and electricity costs, because the cheaper twin-tub machines require water flushing through the tubs all the time.
At 55 per cent of the overall washing-machine market, twin-tub machines remain the most popular, especially upcountry, while top-loading single-tub machines are catching up at 41 per cent. The rest belongs to front-loading automatic washers whose main users have a high financial status.
Toshiba started tapping the trend among urban consumers by yesterday introducing two models with capacities of 12 kilograms and 14kg in the category. They feature a noiseless, energy-efficient Super Direct Drive Inverter.
Its marketing plan includes new television commercials, posters, billboards and points-of-sale displays.
Washing machines account for 15 per cent of Toshiba's sales. Big home appliances, computer notebooks and small home appliances generate 38 per cent, 30 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. Audio-visual products make up the rest.
Toshiba's sales rose 8 per cent to Bt4.8 billion last year, but this year it has targeted growth of only 5 per cent, to Bt5 billion.
Vice president Nattaphong Areekul said the reason for slower sales was that even though volume would keep expanding, prices were still falling along with the overall market.
Nitida Asawanipont, The Nation