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APPLIANCES / AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING

Panasonic #1 in Air Conditioning After Knocking Off Fujitsu

By David Richards | Sunday | 13/03/2011

EXCLUSIVE: Fujitsu invented the plasma TV, Panasonic took it to #1 in Australia, now Panasonic has snared Fujitsu's air conditioning crown according to GFK data by taking over the #1 slot for retail sales of air conditioning.

Fujitsu invented the plasma TV, Panasonic took it to #1 in Australia, now Panasonic has snared Fujitsu's air conditioning crown according to GFK data by taking over the #1 slot for retail sales of air conditioning.

"We took over the #1 slot in the air conditioning market November 2010 and we have continued to grow share" said Panasonic CEO Steve Rust who believes that his Company now has a major advantage due to their recent acquisition of Sanyo.

"The air conditioning market in the future is going to be all about control. Utility Companies are now working with Federal Government and State Governments to introduce new ways to control air condition and in the future that may mean Utility Companies having the power to control air conditioning in both winter and summer".

"Both Panasonic and Sanyo have control technology that is specifically designed to help consumers lower the cost of running an air conditioning system, which is often the biggest contributor to power use on a grid. We have already had blackouts in Sydney and both power utilities and Governments are away of the issues associated with air conditioning use." Rust said.

"Utility Companies in Australia are already trialling control technology linked to air conditioning systems which in the future, they will be able to control when demand on the grid reaches a peak. Consumer running an air conditioner at 16 degrees may find it reset to 19 degrees and in winter the heating cut back" said Rust.
Rust said that while the 2010/2011 season for air conditioning sales in Australia had been "difficult" he claimed that he was confident that the Japanese Company could hold onto their market share.

"We are looking to expand our air conditioning operation as a result we are looking to hire additional people. We are looking to expand our commercial offering and the business we get via installers" he said.

He claimed that a move to merchandising installer's vans and the offering of marketing incentives had led to a surge in installers wanting to sell Panasonic air conditioning solutions.
According to GFK data Panasonic now has 25% of the Australian retail, air conditioning market.

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