ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business

Japanese consumers on appliance shopping spree ahead of tax hike

Shopping for refrigerators at electronics retailer Bic Camera's Ikebukuro location in Tokyo.

TOKYO -- Consumers in Japan are rushing to buy major appliances, particularly up-market models, before the consumption tax rises in April, prompting manufacturers to ramp up production.

     Appliance shipments increased 4.3% to 2.28 trillion yen ($22 billion) in 2013, the highest in 10 years, according to data released Monday by the Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association.

     Amid the scorching heat of last summer, shipments of room air conditioners rose 8.2% to about 720.9 billion yen. In volume terms, they reached the highest ever in the survey's history, which dates back to 1972.

     Shipments of refrigerators increased 6.4% to 436.7 billion yen, while washing machines posted 2.3% growth to 291.8 billion yen. These strong numbers for appliances compare with a 16.7% drop in shipments of flat-panel TVs to 5.37 million units.

     To seize what seems a golden opportunity to boost sales, appliance manufacturers are revving up output. Toshiba is churning out about 20% more fridges and washers this month and next under an undisclosed plan. Output of fridges with a vegetable drawer in the center will come to an estimated 60,000 units a month, while the number is projected at 90,000 for quiet washers featuring a high-performance motor.

     Mitsubishi Electric is boosting refrigerator output by 20%. With production of smaller models reduced, the firm initially anticipated overall output to stay flat on the year. But encouraged by "recent strong sales," as a company official put it, the firm upgraded its output plan for January and beyond, and is now building an estimated 70,000 units a month. High-end models with increased capacity -- or more than 30% than a decade ago despite having the same width -- are popular.

     Panasonic expects to churn out upwards of 10,000 units a month of its top-of-the-line washer-dryer combos that debuted last fall, up 30% from the previous model's output.

(Nikkei)

 

 

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more