Panasonic aims high in UK air conditioning market
Electronics giant Panasonic has its sights set on major growth in the UK and European markets. At the start of September this year, Panasonic made its first move with the acquisition of AMP Air Conditioning, one of UK’s largest distributors.
Panasonic’s air conditioning division plans to invest $100 million in manufacturing and $98 million in R&D for the European market in 2018. And the UK commercial heating and cooling solutions market will be a key part of the strategy.
Shortly after the acquisition was announced, Toshiyuki Takagi, president of the Panasonic Air Conditioner Company said: “Europe is a key region for our global air conditioning business. Panasonic is committed to being a strategic partner for AMP and we aim to expand our business in Europe through this collaboration.”
Enrique Vilamitajana, chief operating officer of Panasonic Appliances Air Conditioning Europe, commented: “We want to grow the air conditioning market in the UK. With the acquisition of AMP we aim to build on the Panasonic brand and become a major player here. Our objective is to raise visibility of Panasonic in all the hvac sectors; and to expose the brand to more installers.”
He added that Panasonic wants to be the “number three” air conditioning manufacturer in the UK market by 2020, with a focus on doubling sales by that date.
Speaking at a recent press conference, Panasonic’s general manager of Air Conditioner Marketing Centre, Hiroshi Komatsubara said: “We are targeting 60% growth in Europe against 2016 figures. Europe is an important market for us because customers are looking for energy efficient solutions, and this suits our product profile.”
The year 2018 will be Panasonic’s 100th anniversary as a business. Next year will therefore be important for the brand. “Air conditioning is a strategic division for Panasonic, so it’s a very important market for the company. Europe is where you want to be with HVAC technology, particularly if you have good products,” said Komatsubara.
On the takeover of AMP, Vilamitajana commented: “We remain committed to all our partners and will continue to do business fairly, and with a desire to build business for all.”
However, in spite of assurances, shortly after the announcement about the acquisition in September, Toshiba cancelled its distribution agreement with AMP.