Coming out of the recent Great Recession, the appliance industry overall faces a great deal of uncertainty about the future. Several appliance manufacturers are relying on Smart Grid and green technology to increase appliance shipments through 2011. Samsung Electronics Co. plans on using smart appliance technology to become the biggest global producer of refrigerators in 2011, according to digital appliance chief Hong Chang-wan. LG Electronics Inc. plans to leverage its extensive library of consumer electronics technology currently found in its cell phone and PC business in new smart appliances.
Other manufacturers plan to expand smart product availability. Haier Group, for example, plans to bring its Smart Life connected-appliance technology, already available in China, to the United States. Smart Life-integrated refrigerators, air-conditioners, and wine cellars use the Internet, mobile communication, and fixed phone networks to let users control home appliances remotely.
Whirlpool Corp., considered the world's biggest manufacturer of major appliances, reported full-year 2010 net sales of $18.4 billion, up 7% over 2009. Through 2011, Whirlpool will remain focused on getting the highest return on every unit, introducing higher-margin appliances while achieving better efficiencies and finding growth in emerging markets.
The second-largest major appliance manufacturer, Electrolux, showed a record profit and reached the operating margin target of 6% for full-year 2010. Electrolux expects to see modest growth in 2011, mostly occurring in the second half, despite the cost of raw materials impacting company results. In Europe, the company is focusing much of its effort on the growing, high-margin built-in appliance segment.
The 59th Annual Appliance Industry Forecast 2011 gives professionals working in or servicing the appliance industry insight with an understanding of the short-term and long-term impact of the economic recession, market challenges and opportunities, as well as valuable insight into consumer buying trends.
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