Samsung, LG, Voltas To Raise AC, Refrigerator Prices

Electronics majors are hiking the prices of refrigerators, air-conditioners, microwave ovens and washing machines. This increase in rates, likely to start from March, is due to a sharp spike in component prices amid short supplies from China, which is battling the coronavirus epidemic.

Some of the electronics majors including LG, Voltas, Samsung, Haier and Panasonic have decided to increase their prices by 3 to 5 percent across models, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times. This translates to an increase of Rs 3,000-4,000 for premium and large capacity models, the report mentioned.

Pradeep Bakshi, Managing Director or Voltas, India’s largest AC manufacturer, told the daily that component prices have gone up due to lower production in China as well as an increase in shipment cost. “The Budget had also increased duties on some components by 2.5 percent. Taking these into account, we are passing some of it,” he said. Bakshi also said that AC prices will increase by 3 percent from March and that the company would review the situation again in May.

LG and Samsung sales executives have also informed key trade partners that there will be a price hike of 3-4 percent for microwave ovens and washing machines from March. Prices of refrigerators and ACs will also be increased after that, the report mentioned. LG and Samsung did not comment on the queries by the daily.

Panasonic is also planning an increase in AC and refrigerator prices but is monitoring the situation for other products and appliances. Haier is planning to increase AC and refrigerator prices by up to 2.5-5 percent. Eric Braganza, President of Haier Appliances India said that factories in China were operating in half their capacity. He added that there is not much clarity on when component supplies will normalise.

The companies had also decided to increase television prices last week by 7-10 percent from March following a 15-20 percent jump in prices of LED television panel, which is one of the main components in television.

China is one of the biggest suppliers of components such as AC and refrigerator compressors, washing machine motors as well as plastic parts. However, the industry does not expect a dip in the demand. The sales of refrigerators, ACs and washing machines were the best in 2019 since demonetisation, as per sales tracker GfK India.―Business Today

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