Summer has arrived early this year. With the mercury breaching the 47-degrees Celsius mark in Delhi, people in the city are buying air conditioners to save themselves from the excessive heat.
According to the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturer Association, in April 2022, the industry sold 17.5 lakh units, which is an all-time high for the month. The sales are double than April 2021 and 30-35% more than the April 2019 figure.
The weather department has issued a weather alert for the coming days and has predicted more heatwaves in Delhi-NCR. The industry is estimating sales of 9 million units this year.
Patriot talked with various traders to know the market trend. A customer executive at one of the leading electronic stores at Connaught Place said, “We are witnessing an increase in sales as compared to last year. Brands like O General, Daikin, Voltas, and LG are the main preference of the customers. Both split and window ACs have seen an upward spike in sales. The primary reason behind increased sales is heat. Moreover, discounts and schemes applicable on various bank cards and payment gateways are also adding to the sales.”
Both traders and manufacturers are witnessing growth as compared to the pre-pandemic levels. While talking with PTI, CEAMA President Eric Braganza said, “The growth can be attributed to the opening up of markets along with the heatwave across the country. Going by the trend, the demand for air conditioners will be good even in May and June”.
According to an estimate, 41 lakh units were sold in 2018, 75 lakh units were sold in 2019, and during the 2020 pandemic, the number fell to 34 lakh. But after a year, in 2021, sales again gained momentum as they touched the 53 lakh mark. This year, the industry is estimating sales at the 90-lakh mark.
“Earlier, our sales were in double-digits, but in recent days, the sale has touched three-digit mark in a day. If the weather stays like this, we will witness further increase in sales”, said a customer executive.
Panasonic, a leading AC manufacturer has recorded a spike of 83% as compared to April 2021 and a 67% growth over April 2019. “We have been seeing record demand for air conditioners. This April, Panasonic India sold over 1,00,000 units”, said Gaurav Shah Panasonic India’s Business head.
He, too, further attributed the increased sales to increased heat and pent-up demand after a long term of the pandemic.
A customer at one of the leading electronic stores at Hauz Khas was a bit confused owing to the variety at the store. “I have come here to buy AC for my daughter’s room. She is studying in Class 9, and she could not concentrate on her studies because of the heat,” said the customer. With an easy instalment scheme provided by a financial company, he was able to buy a split AC.
With rising heat and mercury touching the 40-degree Celsius mark, ACs are becoming a need in the capital, rather than a luxury item. Experts believe that this trend will continue if the weather remains the same. Cheap subsidised electricity and the opening of the market after the pandemic are also some reasons behind increased sales.
(With inputs from PTI)
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Anmol Nath Bali
Anmol covers education, civic and general news for Patriot.