Panasonic still No. 1 for air conditioner

Sawada: Asia-Pacific is a strategic region to lead Panasonic air-conditioner business.

Sawada: Asia-Pacific is a strategic region to lead Panasonic air-conditioner business.

TOKYO: Panasonic Corp is confident of maintaining its lead in the air-conditioner segment in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Currently, it has market share of 34% and 23% in the two countries, respectively.

It holds the second spot in the Philippines with 21% market share and Vietnam (28%) and the fourth in Thailand (9%).

Panasonic Corp Air Conditioner Marketing Centre Appliances Co director Takuma Sawada said the company is the market leader in Malaysia because of its reputation of being a reliable brand using key technology processes and know how.

There are 10 Panasonic factories in Malaysia including in the Klang Valley, Johor, Melaka and Kedah.

Meanwhile, Sawada said that for these markets, the company is targeting a growth of 20% in the financial ending March 31, 2019 compared with the previous year.

“Asia-Pacific is a strategic region to lead Panasonic air-conditioner business,” he said at a briefing to a group of journalists who visited the company’s office here in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Panasonic Corp.

“The 20% target is not easy to reach. I have a heavy responsibility on my shoulders,” he said.

Sawada said the company has a strong presence in Malaysia with a plant in Shah Alam, which exports room air-conditioners and commercial air-conditioners to 120 countries.

The Shah Alam plant, which was opened in 1972, produces 3.5 million sets a year. Some are sold locally.

The company also has a research and development centre in Shah Alam.

The emphasis is on being environmental friendly, energy saving and indoor air quality (purify and circulate air).

He said Panasonic planned to expand its businesses in Vietnam and Thailand amid stiff competition from other brands.

“Vietnam and Indonesia are the most rapidly growing markets. The competition is the hardest in Vietnam among the South-East Asian countries,” he said.

The group’s air-conditioner business recorded a sales turnover of 495 billion yen in financial year 2017. Of this, 56% came from overseas and the balance from domestic market.

Panasonic Corp was founded by Konosuke Matsushita in 1918. It was initially known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd and the products were sold under the National brand.

In 2008, the company’s name was changed to Panasonic Corp and “Panasonic” became the unified brand name.

Headquartered in Osaka, the company has expanded globally and operates 495 subsidiaries and 91 associated companies worldwide, enploying about 258,000 people.

It recorded a consolidated net sales of US$67.997bil for the year ended March 31, 2017.

It is a world leader in the development of diverse electronic technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive and B2B businesses.