Toshiba celebrated the official opening of its new washing machine factory in the East Jakarta Industrial Park in Indonesia. The plant is operated by P.T. Toshiba Consumer Products Indonesia, the Jakarta-based subsidiary of Japan's Toshiba Corp.
The new 18,000-square-meter facility is adjacent to Toshiba's LCD TV production plant. Production of twin-tub models will begin in late 2012. The plant is expected to have some 350 employees. Twin-tubs account for over 40% of washing machine demand in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. In Indonesia, twin-tub demand is as much as 70%.
Toshiba said the Indonesian washing machine market is seeing rapid annual growth. The market was approximately 2 million units in fiscal year 2011 is expected to grow by more than 20% in 2012.
"We are operating this washing machine factory here in Indonesia, the biggest market in Southeast Asia, because this is a dynamic country where we expect to see big growth," said Mr. Toshiro Ishiwatari, President and CEO of Toshiba Home Appliances Corp. "With this new production base we can assure stable supply. More than that, we can develop and deliver 'local-fit' products expressly designed to meet the needs of Indonesian consumers-- washing machines with the functions, performance and appearance that people want."
Toshiba located the plant in a high growth market as a way to strengthen production capabilities and enhance cost competitiveness, apart of its strategy as it takes its consumer products business global. In line with this strategy, the Indonesian plant, along with Toshiba's Chinese and Thai factories, will serve as a manufacturing base for products for export throughout Southeast Asian and to Japan and Middle East.
"While the wider global market faces many uncertainties, this country has many strength: the world's fourth largest population, plus an openness to business that is driving growth," noted Fumio Otani, Toshiba's Corporate Representative for Asia, at the plant's opening. "Last year, per capita GDP reached 3,500 dollars, a key level that triggers increased consumption of consumer goods and brings a higher quality of life. We recognize Indonesia as one of our most important markets."
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