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Construction

Panasonic takes prefab homes to house-hungry Thailand

Cheaper, faster-to-build dwellings to generate sales topping $90m in fiscal 2030

Panasonic has partnered with Siam Steel to build modular homes like this one in Thailand, slashing construction times. (Photo courtesy of Panasonic)

BANGKOK -- Owning a single-family home is a widely held aspiration around the world. And Panasonic is bringing its manufacturing prowess to bear in hopes of making it more affordable in Thailand.

The Japanese electronics maker has partnered with Siam Steel International to construct modular homes in the Southeast Asian country, aiming to eventually cultivate a 10 billion yen ($91.7 million) business.

Thai condominium sales have stalled from COVID-19. But sales of detached homes remain strong, especially in the Bangkok area. Panasonic sees growth potential in the modular-home business.

Modules are prefabricated off-site, so the homes take less than a third of the time to build as regular detached homes. A 250-sq.-meter modular home will sell for around 6.25 million baht ($202,000).

Panasonic will enter the market in the new fiscal year, using in-ceiling air purifiers to differentiate its offerings. It targets sales of 3 billion yen in the year ending March 2025 and 10 billion yen in fiscal 2030, which ends in March 2031.

The Japanese group also plans to bring its Ziaino antibacterial deodorizers in Southeast Asia. It will start out in Thailand later this year before expanding into neighboring countries.

Panasonic already sells Ziaino products in mainland China and Hong Kong. They were hard to find at one point due to insufficient production capacity, but new manufacturing facilities will be built in Guangdong Province during the year through March 2022. Plans are to double capacity for Ziaino offerings compared with the year ending March 31.

Panasonic seeks 150 billion yen in household equipment sales in Southeast Asia by fiscal 2030 -- triple the fiscal 2019 figure.

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