CHENNAI: Blue Star will soon set up a manufacturing unit in the southern region with half a million capacity in 50 acres of land, Blue Star’s Executive Director and President, Air-conditioners and Refrigerator business, B Thiagarajan told reporters here on Monday.
“We are planning to invest Rs150 crore. Our target was to finalise the land by September last year. We now plan to firm it up by May or June,” he said. Thiagarajan also said his company was eyeing double digit growth in the room air conditioners segment. The market share in room air conditioner segment is nine per cent.
Interestingly, the company plans to sell 3.4 lakh units of ACs by 2015-16 of which seven per cent would be inverter. Last year the room air-conditioners industry grew by 10 per cent in volume terms and in value terms it was 19 per cent.
As the Tamil Nadu government has increased the power tariff by 15 per cent, AC manufacturers are betting big on inverter ACs for domestic consumers so that they can not only withstand the summer heat but also save money by consuming less power.
Thiagarajan said that inverter ACs are the best option not only for the consumers but also for the government which is struggling to meet the power needs of the consumers.
“It consumes less than 30 per cent of the power consumed by ordinary five-star rated air-conditioner. But the hitch is the price. All can’t afford it. The government should make the central value added tax for inverter ACs to zero,” he said.
Interestingly, the prices of inverter ACs have dropped from Rs 54,000 last year to RS 48,000. But still it is Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 more than the five-star rated air conditioners.
Thiagarajan said that Japan and China are moving towards inverter air conditioners to help save power consumption. He says the volume of inverter air conditioners in the total sales is likely to go up to 15 per cent from earlier five per cent.