Electronics Makers to Sell Higher-End White Goods in Asia
Jan 19, 2004
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Major electronics makers, including Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., will market high-end white goods in China and Southeast Asian countries to tap growing demand from wealthy consumers there, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.

The manufacturers aim to make up for stagnant sales in Japan.

Toshiba plans to begin selling cyclone vacuum cleaners in China and Southeast Asia this year via subsidiary Toshiba Consumer Marketing Corp., Toshiba officials said. The high-power machines have eliminated the use of disposable paper bags to collect dust. Toshiba aims to export 5,000 to 6,000 units in 2004.

The price is projected at around 40,000 yen, about the same as in Japan. The company has been selling lower-end vacuum cleaners costing less than 10,000 yen in China and Southeast Asia. Toshiba says it will also consider exporting the new type of vacuum cleaners to Europe.

Toshiba earlier began trial sales of washer-dryers in China prior to increasing shipments of higher-end products there.

Hitachi Home & Life Solutions Inc., which began selling washer-dryers in China, Taiwan, and Thailand last year, intends to export them to Singapore, Vietnam and the Middle East beginning this year, company officials said. Overseas sales are projected to increase to 70,000 units from 4,000 last year.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. aims to boost sales of refrigerators that do not use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for coolant in China. The company began selling 220-liter models there in July last year, and all of the refrigerators to be shipped from this April in China will be non-CFC products.

To this end, the company will retool its refrigerator plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.

Energy-saving, non-CFC refrigerators have become popular, although the prices are about 10 percent to 20 percent higher than those of conventional products. (Dow Jones)

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