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Jakarta Post

Panasonic eyes premium market to maintain growth

  • Mariel Grazella

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, April 13, 2013   /  02:25 pm

Consumer electronics manufacturer PT Gobel Panasonic Indonesia expects to overstep the industry growth rate this year by reinvigorating its television and premium products line, company executives said on Friday.

Rinaldi Sjarif, vice president of Panasonic Gobel Indonesia, said the company saw sales augment by 17 percent last year.

'€œWe were able to achieve this growth amid tightening and severe market competition,'€ he added.

However, he said the growth that the company experienced last year was one point below the 18 percent increase the industry recorded as a whole.

'€œWe grew slightly below the industry because we have not been as serious in our smaller television segment by strictly offering televisions with screen sizes of 42 inches and above,'€ he explained.

He further said that to turn the tide around, Panasonic would introduce televisions with screen sizes below 42 inches to grab a bigger share of the television market and drive overall growth.

'€œThis year, we are aiming for a 20 percent sales growth as a whole, hence surpassing the 15 percent
industry accretion,'€ he said.

He added that the industry was expecting slower growth as the volatile dollar to rupiah exchange rate had kept distributors from shipping large quantities of imported electronics.

To achieve business targets despite the slow down, Rinaldi pointed out that Panasonic would also reinforce their three business '€œpillars'€ '€” air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines '€” which drive up to 75 percent of sales.

He said that in the air conditioner segment, Panasonic aimed to continue driving its premium products to surpass the 30 percent growth that the air conditioner segment enjoyed last year.

'€œWe want to be number one in the premium air conditioner segment with our Nano and Econavi technology,'€ he said.

Similarly, Panasonic planned to market premium refrigerators as well, hence extending its product line from just basic, volume driven models, he added.

'€œWe hope to grow in the refrigerator segment by double digits through the introduction of new products,'€ he said, adding that the company would push bigger capacity washing machines into stores as well.

'€œWe want to be in the top three, at the very least, in the refrigerator and washing machine segments,'€ he said.

He added that the company sought to develop their small kitchen appliances and beauty product lines '€” two segments that would be future business pillars for Panasonic.

He added that these two categories would carry premium versions as well, considering that the company wanted to increase the contribution of premium products to 30 percent this year.

'€œThe increase in gross domestic product per capita is what'€™s going to boost the sales of premium products,'€ he added.

With all the business accretion, he said, Panasonic Gobel Indonesia aimed to be among top 10 sales generator for Panasonic globally.

'€œWe are currently the 12th largest sales driver globally, and second in Southeast Asia behind Malaysia,'€ he said.

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