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AC Makers See Easy Finance, Energy Efficiency Driving Sales

With mercury set to rise steeply in the coming months, air-conditioner makers such as LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Haier are expecting a surge of as much as 30 per cent in sales this season on the back of easy financing options and arrival of energy efficient models.
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AC Makers See Easy Finance, Energy Efficiency Driving Sales
New Delhi: With mercury set to rise steeply in the coming months, air-conditioner makers such as LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Haier are expecting a surge of as much as 30 per cent in sales this season on the back of easy financing options and arrival of energy efficient models.

Makers are expecting metros to drive sales and hoping that high-end smart app-controlled units and inverter ACs would contribute up to 15 per cent to their sales.

"Overall, we are targeting 30 per cent and above growth in AC sales," LG India business head AC Vijaya Babu told PTI.

The makers are also unfazed about the unseasonal rains last month in the northern region, which accounts around 35 per cent of the total sales of the industry.

"Temporary erratic weather condition in the first few days of March definitely brought down the temperature in North but this year has seen an early onset of summers, right from the month of February and this will bring surge in AC sales across India," said Rajeev Bhutani, vice president-consumer Electronics at Samsung India Electronics.

"The industry has seen sustained growth with positive sentiment in the market towards the end of 2015. While metros will sustain the momentum, non-metros will drive penetration in the coming year with easy financing schemes, which give customers the option to upgrade," Mr Bhutani added.

"Most of the weather reports predict highest ever temperatures this summer, which is an optimistic sign for the industry," according to Panasonic India and South Asia president and CEO Manish Sharma.

The companies are also expecting sales to grow in rural areas this season because of pent-up demand and factors such as easy financing schemes.

"In spite of droughts, the demand from rural markets is encouraging... the ratio of urban to rural AC sales is likely to be 60:40 this year," Mr Sharma added.

Besides, the makers are also expecting a good contribution to the sales volume from the online channel.

Haier India president Eric Braganza said, "We are looking 30 per cent growth in online sales and we have tied up with leading players such as Snapdeal and Flipkart."

The companies have lined up energy efficient models both in split and widows AC segments although consumers are now preferring split AC because it comes with a latest technology that helps save energy without compromising on cooling.

"We can see a paradigm shift in the consumer behavior, there is a shift or a trend from preferring window ACs to now split air conditioners, earlier the ratio was 50:50, wherein now the trend has skewed towards 70:30 across all the brands or competition," Mr Braganza said.

Endorsing his views, Mr Bhutani said, "Customers want their AC to look aesthetically good and run at minimum noise levels. The new trend of floral pattern has also made split ACs the first choice for customers."

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