Electrolux has vowed to remain focus in catering to the premium category for consumer household durables market where it has been known for even as it tries to penetrate to the needs of the ASEAN region, which is largely composed of developing economies.
This was stressed by Dr. Suresh Balan, Electrolux president of East Asia and India, during the launch of its new range of appliances highlighting FlexFresh™ and NutriFresh™ refrigerators and Time Manager washing machines.
"We are more of the premium range. As a company we are played as a premium. We have a market position that we want to keep. At the moment we have no plans to go into the low-end product segment," Balan said when asked if the company has plans to enter into the low-end category.
Balan said that its washing machines are very much in the front load model although they are also a strong player in the premium top load segment.
"At the moment we are looking at the mass premium and premium segment. Our brand promise is our heritage. At the moment there is enough market for our products," he said.
Even as they maintain its positioning for the premium category, Balan said their company has done research and gathered consumer insights in order to come up with products that are suited for the Asian consumers.
"We did a lot of consumer insight I think those products can be introduced into this market and have very good future," he added.
He, however, said that all parts (low-midium-high) of the market are growing.
"The low end is also growing, we see first time ref/washing machine buyers and also in refrigerators. In Asia and in southeast Asia people are moving up from kerosene to table top cookers from handwash to washing machine," he said.
Without divulging figures, Balan said the Swedish firm considers the Philippines a very important growing market in the entire Electrolux organization noting the improving domestic economy.
Electrolux changed its marketing strategy 11 years ago from a direct-selling company to a regular retail marketing firm. It has endeared its brand to the locals and enjoyed strong following, especially its vacuum cleaners.
"I think the main focus with Electrolux out here is its long history in the Philippines with door to door sales of vacuum cleaners but that has moved on and we are now a full-pledged company. It's a good market for us and it is growing," he said.
Balan said the company has plans of expanding its reach in the country. It has now established an office in Cebu to take care of the Visayas and Mindanao areas.
"We can see our presence going there. Definitely, we have made a mark here in Philippines," he said.
The Philippines ranked third biggest Electrolux market in the region with Vietnam and Thailand as the first two biggest. The company has invested in a huge manufacturing plant in Thailand, which now supplies for the ASEAN region.
In the region, Balan said Electrolux is one of the leading European brands in the region.
The company is not only concentrating on vacuum cleaners but a whole range of household appliances, including washing machines, dish washers, built-in kitchen and cookers.