KOCHI/CHENNAI: Soaring mercury levels are good news for the air conditioner industry. Southern cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi have recently witnessed temperatures cross 36 degree centigrade, pushing up demand for the cooling machines significantly.
“We have seen a rise in demand from Telengana and Kerala,” observed Sajeev Rajashekaran, Business Head, Air Conditioners, Panasonic India, “this is significant, because we are also seeing high temperatures in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.”
The south contributes over 30% of pan-India sales. In 2015, the number shot up to 35.4%, according to industry reports. Out of a total of 2.17 lakh units, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh (before split) and Orissa alone accounted for 9.24 lakh units. And 2016 is likely to see sales grow by another 20%.
According to Panasonic, Kerala and Karnataka will see summer last only up to the beginning of May. “In fact, Kerala is already seeing some rains,” said Rajasekharan. Once the monsoon sets in, sales tend to go down, except for regions like Chennai where it can last most of the year.
But now that the season has begun, AC makers are seeing demand for energy efficient models. Blue Star, which seeks to increase its pan-India market share to 12%, is pouring in Rs 30 crore on new product development in this sphere, according to C P Mukundan Menon, Executive, Vice-President.
Godrej Appliances has also noticed the trend. “Inverter AC is the fastest growing segment, with 75% growth every year and 10% contribution to industry sales,” said Business Head and EVP Kamal Nandi.
The reason is simple. A five star AC results in savings of 0.62 units per hour, compared to a non rated model. Savings go up to Rs 900 per month and Rs 7,200 per year, says Rajashekaran.