Air-coolers market share goes cold

New Delhi, Apr 29 | Updated: Apr 30 2007, 05:30am hrs
Even as split air conditioners are fast replacing window ACs in metros and tier I cities, window ACs are replacing air-coolers in the small cities and towns (tier II and III cities). As a result, the air cooler market has registered a decline in sales by 5-10% in the past two of years.

Because of the growing affordability, coupled with easy financing options, realisation of technology benefits like air purifying and cooling technology, consumers, who went for air-coolers are fast moving to purchase ACs instead.

Also, the consumers, who went for assembled air conditioners because of price points are now upgrading to branded ACs.

The air cooler market is over 1 million units but is de-growing at 5-10% as compared to 16 lakh units air conditioner market growing at 40-50%.

North India contributes to over 50% of air cooler market because of its dry summer as compared to southern and western part of India where the climate is hot and humid where coolers are not as effective.

About 90% of air cooler market is unorganised. The rest 10% of the organised sector is dominated by brands like Symphony and Bajaj, among others. However, industry experts say that air-coolers will not vanish from the market and will still remain a safe bet for the next couple of years but not in the long run.

Despite the degrowth, in the north-Indian market, ACs are still considered expensive for the urban middle class.

Besides, they consume more power.

Thats precisely the reason why AC manufacturers like LG, Samsung, Carrier, Godrej, Voltas, Fedders Llyod, Videocon, Electrolux and other popular brands this season launched their ACs (both windows and split) with energy efficient labeling.

ACs have seen a price rise of 10-15% from November last year because of increase in input cost. According to Samsung Indias deputy MD Ravinder Zutshi, Price rise is inevitable because of high input cost but the AC industry is still poised for a growth of 40-50% this year similar to the rate of last year.