Panasonic Corp. will launch 34 new models in its home appliance range in the Philippines in fiscal 2019, putting a greater focus on mid-range to high-end products in response to local consumer demand.
“We have shifted our strategy to a more premium lineup as consumer preferences are changing toward middle- to high-end models,” Shinichi Hayashi, president of Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines Corp., told NNA in a recent phone interview.
In its new business year starting on April 1, the local unit of the Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer will introduce nine new air conditioners, eight refrigerators and six washing machines, among other items.
The nine air conditioner models will be equipped with a “nanoe” function — a Panasonic technology that produces nanometer-sized electrostatic atomized water particles that it claims improves air quality.
The company will also use inverter technology on low- and middle-priced air conditioners in response to rising demand from middle-income consumers. An inverter is used to control the speed of the compressor motor in order to regulate the temperature continuously.
“We see higher consumer demand for refrigerators with the energy-saving inverter function and fully automatic washing machines in the greater Manila area,” Hayashi said.
Of the 34 models, the Philippine unit plans to manufacture 18 locally. It will increase the number of locally manufactured refrigerator models from four to 13.
In April, Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines will transfer the production of washing machines and fans from its plant in Taytay, east of Manila, to another in Santa Rosa, south of the capital, where it makes air conditioners.
The total production line area for washing machines and fans will more than double from 3,000 to 7,000 square meters after the relocation, according to Hayashi.
The Philippine unit’s sales of air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines are expected to grow at a double-digit percentage pace annually in the next three business years, he said.―ABS-CBN News