The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Samsung brushes up its washerman image

New Delhi, June 7: Samsung India is set to launch six top loading washing machines and a front loading one this month. This is likely to be followed by two new semi-automatic washing machine models in August.

The consumer electronic company which set up its washing machine production unit in November 2001 is already marketing 12 different models. These include seven fully automatic and five semi-automatic ones.

While the existing range of fully automatic washing machine is priced between Rs 13,600 and Rs 26,200, semi-automatic range costs between Rs 6,990 and Rs 10,250.

“Our company has brought in Rs 12 crore as mould investments for boosting the line-up of washing machines this year. The prices of new models will by-and large be in the same range, possibly with a marginal price hike in a few models,” said a Samsung official at the sidelines of the launch of a regional social programme for youth.

Samsung has set a target to sell around 300,000 washing machines this year against 200,000 sold last year. The company hopes to achieve a 50 per cent growth in its washing machine sales this year. It has notched a 97 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2003.

“However, as per our strategy we plan to focus on colour televisions and microwaves this year and go really aggressive on washing machines and microwaves in 2004-05, said Ravinder Zutshi, Director, Samsung India Electronics.

The company increased the production capacity of washing machines from 1.5 lakh units per annum to 3 lakh units in the second half of 2002. It is now in the process of setting up a 500,000 capacity refrigerator plant in Noida which is scheduled to go on stream sometime in August this year. The company has invested US $ 25 million in this plant.

The official said that Samsung will also launch a 28 litre microwave oven soon, a product range which the company is trying to promote through various roadshows in the capital. Samsung India attained a market share of 29 per cent in 2002 and targets to achieve a market share of over 35 per cent this year.

Samsung India Electronics is targeting an overall growth of 65 per cent and sales turnover of Rs 2,800 crore this year in the home appliance category. These include washing machines, airconditioners and microwave ovens. Last year the company had a sales turnover of Rs 1,700 crore.

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