The HVAC industry is moving toward smart and environment-friendly technologies. The industry has been witnessing a continual shift toward inverter ACs, which contribute ~40 percent of overall industry sales. A key factor behind this is the merger of energy ratings for fixed and inverter compressors and the decreasing price differential between fixed and inverter ACs. Today, Japan has 100-percent inverter compressor-based ACs. However, in India, inverter ACs are roughly 65 percent of the total market. Very soon India AC market will also become 100-percent inverter compressor technology-based.
Secondly, with the extended severe winters this year, everyone is realizing that heating is as essential as cooling for even plains. Therefore, air conditioners, which are both cooling- and heating-based, are energy-efficient and are safer and healthier than traditional heating options. This new trend will see a rise. The cost of adding heating to an air conditioner is, anyway, very miniscule. Thus, a holistic conditioning of air and not just cooling is the foremost trend which will very soon grip the market.
Additionally, there is also a rising need for IoT-based products, which will decide on the basis of the heat-load inside the room, the ideal temperature required, and then the customer has the choice to increase or decrease the temperature as per his requirement. In line with this thought, we are working on automation in the residential ACs, that is, you should be able to control your air conditioner from wherever you are, and you can see from your mobile phone how much energy it is consuming, how many hours it has run, etc.
On new lineup for 2020
At Hitachi Cooling & Heating, we are all striving toward energy efficiency and, therefore, sustainability. In fact, we have worked with the government to form the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP), capturing the need for air conditioning in India.
With benefits of providing air which is clean, fresh, silent, and odorless, Hitachi Cooling & Heating has introduced Hitachi air concept for a perfectly balanced and harmonious indoor air experience. Our split air conditioners come with various innovative technologies like frost wash technology for fresh air, auto filter cleaning technology for clean air, auto coil dry technology for odor-free air, big blower and wave blade design for silent air, and big flow deflector for surround air, which bring a truly balanced indoor experience in your house.
We are very excited about a couple of our new products. One of them, of course, is the Wi-Fi-connected app-controlled AC, where one can control 4–5 AC units with a single controller. It also has the option of multiple users. We are also going to launch a highly energy-efficient AC in our lineup this year. We are proud to claim that in each category 1 TR, 1.5 TR, and 2 TR (the highest selling category of room ACs), the highest energy-efficient AC listed today on BEE’s site is a Hitachi. Our new lineup has approximately 96 models, ranging from 1 TR to 3.1 TR. The latest addition of 1.25 TR to the lineup will play a pivotal role in boosting the sale as it serves as the perfect SKU between 1 TR and 1.5 TR for a room size of 115~135 sq. ft. The company has also introduced a window inverter AC in its lineup this year.
In order to bridge the gap of accessibility of room AC (RAC) in Tier-II and Tier-III towns, our company has plans to introduce new models, designed specifically to cater to the needs of the first-time and the mid-segment AC buyer.
With Hitachi Air, the company has plans to successfully connect the brand with a larger consumer base by offering a perfectly balanced and harmonious indoor air experience that they deserve. With this new brand identity, Hitachi’s growth addresses the inherent consumer needs and will be driven by a strong sales and marketing push in the southern and the western markets, brand promotion in local languages, and channel advocacy.