Our Bureau

Chennai, March 6

Voltas Ltd would spend Rs 20 crore to market its new line of air-conditioners and an additional Rs 6 crore for retail expansion, according to Mr K.J. Jawa, senior Vice President, Unitary Products Business Group. The investment would go into advertisements and other below the line activities.

The company plans to add 1,500 dealers to its existing network, making it a total of 3,500 in the country, as also to strengthen the franchisee spread from 350 to 500 this year.

Mr Jawa said that the domestic air-conditioner market size is about 15 lakh units (Rs 2.7 crore approximately), out of which Voltas has a 16 per cent market share, while LG the market leader has 33 per cent, and Samsung about 13 per cent. He said that the company is aiming to attain a 20 per cent market share in FY 2006-07.

Voltas has built a manufacturing plant in Uttaranchal at an investment of Rs 120 crore. The plant, set to begin operations on May 1, will have a manufacturing capacity of 3 lakh units per annum, which would increase the overall capacity to 5 lakh units. The company plans to export about two lakh units next year, he said.

The new range of air-conditioners includes split air-conditioners priced between Rs 14,500 and Rs 36,000.

Mr Jawa said that the popularity of split air-conditioners has increased over the last two years from 25 per cent of the units sold to about 50 per cent of the units sold in the South. Overall, South India accounts for about 28 per cent of the market, followed by the West at 27 per cent.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 7, 2006)
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