Tosot, a premium brand of Gree, the biggest manufacturer of air conditioners in the world, has launched its products in the Philippines as its first foray in Southeast Asia, taking advantage of the robust retail sector in the country.
Tom Balete, Tosot Philippines general manager, said the brand intends to compete in the segment of the market that demands innovative and premium solutions for air conditioners, whichTosot has done in three continents worldwide.
The move, Balete said, is in response to growing consumer sentiment that prefers quality air conditioner brands, instead of the usual cheap but low quality products that flood appliance centers in the country.
“We have been observing the market for years now. We noticed that in the past couple of years, many families and businesses have started to upgrade their air conditioning systems to something that goes beyond cooling their rooms. They want efficiency and quiet that cheaper products don’t have,” he said.
He added that the penchant of consumers to upgrade their appliances could be a direct result of the growth in the country’s retail sector, marked by the increase in the number of middle class families, which allowed premium brands worldwide to enter the Philippines.
Balete said in the Southeast Asian region, where the Philippines is a key member, analysts predict the middle class will triple from 525 million in 2009 to 1.74 billion in 2020.
In the Philippines, economists also expect retail to grow its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product to 20 percent in 10 years, up by 7 percent from last year’s 13 percent.
The growth should push demand for quality products instead of price, Balete said.
“Tosot wants to be that alternative premium brand of air conditioners and we will compete in terms of providing really technologically advanced products that will set the bar for air conditioners, especially in terms of energy consumption and area acoustics,” he said.
He added Tosot Philippines will also place priority on products that are ecologically friendly.
Tosot’s air-conditioning units use R-32 and R-410A refrigerants, which do not contribute to ozone depletion and allow for lower power consumption and less impact on global warming. Tosot also uses the inverter air-conditioning system that consumes less electricity compared to conventional air-conditioning units.
This means less energy, reduced production costs and an environment-friendly business.
Tosot has eight production bases strategically located worldwide: Brazil, Pakistan, Vietnam and cities in China that include Zhuhai, Chongqing, Hefei, Zhengzhou and Wuhan.
The company has an annual production capacity of 60 million units of residential air-conditioners and 5.5 million units of commercial air-conditioners.
Tosot, a Chinese brand, was first introduced in 2003 and distributed globally in Italy, Canada, Hong Kong, Iraq, Russia, Ukraine, China, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Israel and Turkey.
(Malaya Business Insight)