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Consumer Appliances 2014 Edition – The State of the Market

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Our newly published data on the Consumer Appliances market reveals how retail volume sales of major appliances will reach 4% growth globally by the end of 2013. Underpinned yet again by sales in China, Asia Pacific is contributing a staggering 61% of this growth. In this context it’s no surprise that the moment has finally come when Haier overhauls Whirlpool to become the biggest major appliance manufacturer in the world by volume.

Major Appliances

Behind this robust global growth lies a story of mixed performance around the world. There is finally light at the end of the tunnel for Eastern Europe, which emerged in 2013 as the most dynamic region with sales pretty much back to pre-recession levels. Yet this positive news comes with strings attached, with growth driven mainly by Russia, where sales are posting a double-digit increase in 2013 for a fourth consecutive year. Elsewhere in the region we see a very lukewarm performance and that is not likely to change soon.

In Latin America meanwhile, led by another BRIC powerhouse Brazil, sales of major appliances grew by just 4%, half of what we saw in 2012. This is down to the end of the government’s IPI tax incentive in Brazil. Still, when it comes to value growth, the region outshines all others with an 8% increase in 2013, driven by the fabled middle class upgrading to added value appliances.

Volume sales in North America are also increasing, albeit modestly, while Western Europe continues to struggle. After a bad 2012, the end of 2013 indicates that yet again the region is not returning to growth. And despite the negative performance recorded in Egypt, growth in South Africa and Morocco drove the Middle East and Africa region to a healthy 4% volume increase.

Small Appliances

Over the next five years we can expect to see value growth in small appliances to be polarised. On the one hand, in all emerging regions, air treatment products will drive growth, with sales of split air conditioners expected to record the largest increase through to 2017 in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

In comparison developed market drivers are different. In North America small cooking appliances will post the largest value growth, with coffee machines alone set to account for 15% of the overall increase over the next five years. In turn, in Western Europe, sales of vacuum cleaners will come to account for 35% of the overall small appliance growth over the same period, mainly thanks to sales of cylinder vacuum cleaners.

Major Appliance Production

In terms of the global production of major appliances, we see an increase by 3% in 2013, and tellingly 90% of this comes from Asia pacific. After China, Indonesia accounts for the largest growth in the region, although it still accounts for little over 1% of the world’s total production.

A mix of expansion and re-location has also boosted production in Brazil, Turkey and Poland, which in 2013 posted the second, third and fourth largest production output growth globally.

In an on-going blow to tradition, Italy remains the biggest loser. Having already lost 50% of its annual production between 2006 and 2012, the country that was once the world’s third producer has lost a further 2 million units in 2013, and accounts nowadays for just 3% of all major appliance production.

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