Driven by the early arrival of summer and intense heat wave, residential air conditioner makers are looking forward to a record sales of around 90 lakh units this year, said Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association on Tuesday.
Already, in April the industry has clocked the sale of around 17.5 lakh units, which is also an all-time high for the month.
However, the availability of certain products could be an issue in the next couple of months as manufacturers may not be in a position to supply their entire range of models to meet market demand, especially the energy-efficient 5-star range, due to high demand and supply constraints of components such as controllers and compressors, said Eric Braganza, president of CEAMA (Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association).
"At an industry level, the estimated sales of residential ACs (Air Conditioners) in the month of April 2022 is around 1.75 million units. The sales are double compared to April 2021 and 30-35 per cent over April 2019 figures," Braganza told PTI.
This displays a "staggering growth" as compared to the pre-pandemic levels, he added.
"The growth can be attributed to the opening up of markets along with the sweltering heat wave across the country, and going by the trend, the demand for air conditioners will be good even in May and June as well," Braganza added.
About expectations for 2022, he said, "Based on the severe summer and the sales trends in the first four months, the AC market this year is expected to be between 8.5 million and 9 million units. It will be the highest ever."
Braganza, however, cautioned that the availability of certain products could be an issue in the next couple of months and the industry could experience shortages, as there are supply issues of controllers and compressors especially from China, while the demand for more energy-efficient ACs are very high.
"... manufacturers may not be in a position to supply their entire range of models to meet market demand, especially the energy-efficient 5-star range," he said.
Besides, the CEAMA president also said there could be a price hike of around 4-5 per cent to protect margins as input costs have increased substantially.
"In the last 18-20 months, the consumer appliance/durable goods industry has seen a price increase of up to 15 per cent. With the continued rise in raw material, crude oil and global freight rates, many manufacturers will increase their pricing in the range of 2-4 per cent in the coming months," he said.
Manufacturers such as Voltas, Panasonic, Hitachi, LG and Haier posted record sales in April.
Tata group firm Voltas, which is an industry leader, witnessed "unprecedented growth" and almost touched the volume level of April 2019, which was also one of the hottest summers of the decade, said its managing director and CEO Pradeep Bakshi.
"In the month of April 2022, the AC industry has witnessed unprecedented growth over last year due to a very strong summer and a low base of 2021. We have witnessed high triple-digit growth across the sector," said Bakshi.
Similarly, Panasonic India said it has witnessed a "record demand" for air conditioners and sold over 1 lakh units during the month.
"We have been seeing record demand for air conditioners. This April, Panasonic India sold over 1,00,000 units, a growth of 83 per cent over last April (2021) and a 67 per cent growth over April 2019. We would attribute this phenomenal growth to pent-up demand and the early onset of the summer season," said Gaurav Sah, Panasonic India Business Head, Air Conditioners Group.
Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India, which sells residential AC under the Hitachi brand, said its sales had almost grown more than double in April over last year, and the company is "optimistic" about achieving a record Rs 1,500-crore sales during the peak season in the segment.
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