Panasonic Australia is blaming the Australian dollar’s poor performance against the yen and US dollar as it announced plans for increases of up to 22 percent on its current range of consumer electronics products, from February 1 2009. Late last year Sony announced price increases of up to 30% for 2009.
Paul Reid, Director, Consumer Electronics Group, Panasonic Australia, explained: “Panasonic’s Australian operation buys in Japanese yen and the US dollar, and the market has seen the Australian dollar weaken against these currencies by over 30 per cent since July 2008. As a result of these factors, prices are set to increase across the Australian consumer electronics marketplace in 2009.”
At the CES Show in Las Vegas last week Reid said that 2009 “will be a tough year however an array of new innovative products will help.”
Backing up Reid’s comments David Ackery the GM of Electrical at Harvey Norman said “Panasonic has a nice new range of products coming in 2009 and this is needed to drive sales in 2009 as we have to give consumers a good reason to buy”.
As a result, from Feb 1 Panasonic expects to see an average increase on products in-market of 9.5 per cent, with the highest average increase in a single category being around 22 per cent.
“We have worked particularly hard to ensure that our popular Home Entertainment range remains as affordable as possible,” said Reid. “For example, in our most popular category of Plasma and LCD panels, we expect to see an average increase of around 9 per cent on the current range, a figure lower than market predictions.”
Other Home Entertainment categories including DVD Recorders, Blu-ray Recorders, DVD players, Blu-ray players, home theatre systems and hi-fi products will also be affected, with an average price increase of approximately 10 per cent.
Average increases in the Home Appliance Range include 8 per cent for Room Air Conditioners (wall-mounted) and around 15 per cent for Packaged Air Conditioners (ducted systems). In addition, Microwaves will rise by an average of around 22 per cent and shavers by an average of 17 per cent.
“We have notified our consumer electronics retail partners today of the expected increases and will commence working with them to advise of the effect on individual models,” Reid said.