White goods makers will roll out discounts from end-March onward to attract customers. As India is facing an extended winter, appliance makers are looking to boost sales of coolers and air-conditioners (ACs) by offering discounts.
All major appliance makers will offer 10-35 percent discount from Holi onward, industry sources told Moneycontrol. Even e-commerce portals such as Amazon and Flipkart are offering 10-30 percent discount on ACs and coolers.
“Sales, which would have picked up steam from February onwards, seem to have been delayed due to the weather change in North India. Temperatures remain cool and this has directly led to a 20-25 percent drop in sales,” said the deputy chief of a mid-sized consumer durables firm.
While in 2018, Northern India had seen a cooler summer due to unseasonal rains, Western India and Southern India had a scorching summer. This boosted the sales of cooling products during that period.
Vijay Babu- VP, Home Appliances & Air Conditioners LG India said they have recently launched its new range of residential ACs focusing more on 5-star ACs.
"To bring these products within consumers’ reach, LG has come up with various consumer offers. These include a scheme with Bajaj Finance where a consumer can buy an AC by paying down payment of Rs 1,999 and the remaining amount in easy instalments," he added.
Further, LG is also offering five-year insurance on all room AC models in case of natural calamities. The Kerala floods of 2018 had caused heavy damage to household appliances in the state.
Sunil Shankar, Head of business, Panels TV and AC, Mirc Electronics (Onida) said they are focussing on launching new models during the AC season.
"We will be giving better financing options rather than giving discounts. Our new financing models make our products affordable. We are providing 24 months repayment period for our consumers unlike one-year repayment options available in the market. This will make our products affordable and there will not be much burden on our consumers."
All large companies including LG, Samsung and Voltas operate in this space. ACs are still taxed at 28 percent which is the highest rate of taxation under the goods and services tax (GST) regime.
While there is an expectation that the GST on ACs will be brought down to 18 percent, this will be only put into effect when the next government is sworn in.
The first attempt will be to sell the unsold inventory of 2018. These are likely to be offered at a 30 percent discount in 2019.