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issue: June 2009 APPLIANCE Magazine

International Report - Europe
Anticipating Appliances @ IFA ’09


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Paul Roggema, Europe correspondent

Appliances @ IFA had a strong launch in 2008—but is the industry support still there?

IIFA IS Europe’s biggest TRADE SHOW for consumer electronics. In 2008, with OEM backing, Appliances @ IFA was added to the fair. The 2008 event was widely described as a success. Still, several European appliance trade fairs have gone from boom to bust in recent decades. This, and the economic crises that followed on the heels of IFA 2008, raised the levels of concern about the 2009 Appliances event. But in Malta, white goods manufacturers supporting the event included BSH, Miele, Philips, and the new arrival in the white goods business, Panasonic.

Of course, manufacturers are still working on the new products that they’ll launch at the September fair, so there was enough time for informal meetings and entertainment in Malta. There were new industry trends being discussed—if few secrets to be heard. Would BSH be able to top last year’s success at IFA, when it offered a new dryer, dishwasher, and coffeemaker? The BSH crew wouldn’t spill their secrets but told us they would surprise us again. Miele pleased attendees with delicious coffee from their premium built-in coffeemaker.

Panasonic displayed a horizontal-drum washer with a capacity of 7 kg. The washer is quite unusual for Europe, being designed with 3-D movement sensing, a tilted drum, and direct-drive motor all within the standard 60-cm form factor.

Philips showed two new products carrying its Green logo: an iron in which unnecessary steam production while standing up was eliminated, and a vacuum cleaner with a redesigned HD motor for 30% improved efficiency. Philips’ spectacular new flat-screen TV in the Cinema format (21:9) was displayed. The company again explained its strategy to keep up with the cutthroat competition from Japanese, Korean, and Chinese TV producers: offer special and unique features like modern design, perfect motion and sharpness, the popular Ambilight backlighting capability, and the new Cinema format.

The good news in the consumer electronics (CE) world was that, according to market researcher GfK, the market for CE is doing relatively well (still a 4% worldwide growth for 2008). Some European markets remain strong (Germany) and others are indeed suffering (such as the United Kingdom and Spain).

IFA staff said most participants from 2008 will be exhibiting again in 2009. Whirlpool Corp., however, was not at the 2008 event and is not booked to exhibit in 2009. IFA, along with Appliances @ IFA, will take place Sept. 4–9, 2009, at Messe Berlin.

 

Read Paul Roggema’s on-location reports from last year’s inaugural Appliances @ IFA trade show:

At First Glance: IFA Berlin

ApplianceMagazine.com/content/2095

Extended Report from IFA Berlin

ApplianceMagazine.com/content/2143

 

 

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