Panasonic India aims to double its air-conditioners business in the next three years as the industry gears up for strong pent-up demand in the upcoming summer season. The company, on Thursday, launched its new range of ACs with an innovative line-up and expects to witness strong double-digit growth in the first half of the year.

Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India & South Asia, said, “Since July, the industry has witnessed strong pent-up demand for TVs, refrigerators and washing machines. We expect to see similar pent-up demand trends for the AC segment.”

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“Our aim is to double our AC business in the next three years and we expect to see a sales growth of 35 per cent in the first half of this year, which will be higher than the overall AC industry growth rate,” he added.

Additional shifts

The AC industry is expected to see a growth of 15-20 per cent in the summer season.

In anticipation of the strong demand, the company is also planning to increase the number of shifts at its AC manufacturing plant in the next two months. “The industry saw opportunity losses as demand outstripped supply for products such as TVs in the past few months. To ensure we are geared up for strong demand for ACs, we will be running additional shifts in February and March,” Sharma added.

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The company has a capacity to produce one million units of ACs at its plant in Jhajjar in Haryana. The new AC line-up of the company includes the NanoeX technology range, which the company claims is capable of eliminating the growth of certain pollutants such as allergens, bacteria and viruses. The HU series also features Miraie — Panasonic’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and IoT platform — to ensure connected living, it added.

Sharma said rising commodity prices remains a key challenge for the consumer durable industry, which has undertaken price hikes in December. While the industry is working on strengthening the supply chain ecosystem, it will take 1-2 years for the AC industry to reduce its dependency on imported components such as motors and compressors.

Replying to a query on the production-linked incentive scheme for the durables industry, he said that the company is keenly awaiting more details. The Japanese major had earlier announced that it will utilise its manufacturing capacity in India to make products such as ACs for strategic partners.