PANASONIC Malaysia Sdn Bhd is going all out to defend its position as Malaysia's number one consumer electronics company by introducing new and innovative products.
It now commands a market share of 35 per cent.
Panasonic Malaysia managing director Hiroshi Nakamura said among the new products to be introduced will be air-conditioners with auto-clean functions and motor control which can minimise unnecessary electricity usage, thus enabling it to reduce electricity costs by half.
"We will also launch an analogue to digital PABX (private branch exchange) telephone exchanger system and new refrigerators which can save electricity cost by half.
"This is on top of our sales activities in other growing categories such as plasma television, digital cameras and office equipment such as laser printers, projectors, audio-visuals, lighting, home appliances and so many others," Nakamura told Business Times in Selangor recently.
Panasonic Malaysia is a unit of Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, which raked in global sales of RM270 billion last year, of which 0.5 per cent or RM1.3 billion, was contributed by Malaysia.
In Malaysia, Panasonic commands a 20 per cent market share in audio visual equipment, home appliances (40 per cent to 45 per cent) and office products (30 per cent to 35 per cent).
Nakamura said Malaysia's consumer electronics sales trend has always been on the rise as consumers continue to buy appliances which are a necessity in everyday life such as refrigerators, washing machines, television sets, iron and cookers.
"Half of the demand will always be stable because people will need to use these products daily. The other half depends on how innovative and creative we are to produce products which appeal to customers and get their satisfaction."
Nakamura said as a whole, the local industry posts sales growth of between five per cent and six per cent per year and Panasonic has an internal sales target of doubling that industry figure.
Nakamura admitted that competition has been tough with many worldwide players such as Sony, Toshiba, LG, Samsung, Philips and local players such as Khind and Pensonic.
Panasonic takes pride in the fact that it is one of the world's biggest consumer electronics companies due to its innovative products catering to current trends and demands.
Founded 89 years ago by Tan Sri Konosuke Matsushita, the giant electronics firm now owns over 1,000 offices and plants in over 60 countries and employs 300,000 workers. It allocates up to five per cent of revenue for research and development activities.
Panasonic has been in Malaysia for 31 years and has to date invested some RM8 billlion. It operates 17 plants and offices and produces 95 product categories, of which almost all are exported.