Look Towards A New Future

May 9, 2012

Consumer Appliances Industry in Thailand

Favourable economic conditions underpin positive market performance
Thailand’s consumer appliances market continued to perform well in 2011. Total market volume and current value sales both grew at a slightly faster pace than in 2010, and growth rates also surpassed the respective CAGRs for the entire review period. Aside from the necessary replacement of older appliances, volume and current value sales were bolstered by economic improvements, political stability, increasing urbanisation, busier lifestyles and the growing desire for convenience among Thai consumers. New launches, marketing activities, frequent price promotions and the availability of affordable instalment plans also contributed to the positive market performance.

Growth in condominium ownership bolsters demand for appliances
Demand for residential properties continued to rise in Thailand towards the end of the review period, especially in urban and suburban areas. Condominium units were among the most desirable properties, particularly those located along the mass transit lines of the BTS Skytrain and the MRT underground throughout Bangkok and in outlying districts. In 2011, the total number of condominium units in Bangkok alone reached around 300,000. Demand for condominium units was also strong in popular tourist destinations like Hua Hin, Pattaya and Phuket. Rising demand for residential properties, and in particular condominiums, helped to bolster demand for all kinds of appliances, especially microwaves, vacuum cleaners, rice cookers, kettles and toasters, cooling fans and air conditioners.

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Energy efficient appliances continue to gain popularity
Throughout the review period, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) continued to update and expand its energy rating programme for consumer appliances. At the same time, demand for more energy efficient appliances grew steadily among Thai consumers. Rising demand was mainly due to economic considerations, with consumers recognising that energy efficient appliances could save them money in the long term. However, environmental concerns also proved an increasingly important driver of demand for such products. Environmental concerns were heightened in 2011, when unusually cold weather at the start of the summer season and widespread flooding towards the year led many Thai people to think more carefully about how their energy consumption habits were contributing to climate change. New launches and marketing activities, particularly by multinational players, also bolstered demand for energy efficient appliances.

Multinational brands continue to lead the Thai market
Multinationals continued to lead consumer electronics in Thailand in 2011. Philips, Sharp and Toshiba remained the top three brands in the market respectively in volume sales terms. Other international brands ranked among the market leaders included Panasonic, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, LG, Samsung and Electrolux. While some of these brands, such as Sharp, competed directly with domestic products in the lower price segments, most were targeted at middle and high income consumers. Aside from their global reputations for quality and consistently strong advertising support, the leadership of multinationals was also attributable to their superior capacity for innovation and ability to capitalise on emerging consumer trends. Toshiba, for instance, was one of the brands that most successfully answered consumer demands for more aesthetically designed appliances during the review period, with its singe-door curve fridge being one of the best examples. At the same time, Toshiba was one of the leaders of the trend towards more energy efficient appliances, and also one of the most active brands when it came to promoting its commitment to environmental protection issues.

Demand for appliances will continue to grow over 2011-2016
The outlook for consumer appliances in Thailand remains favourable, with total volume and constant value sales expected to grow steadily over the forecast period. Aside from replacement purchases, economic improvements, political stability and rising home ownership will continue to underpin the positive development of the market as a whole. New launches, particularly of more innovative, energy efficient and aesthetically designed models, will also bolster demand in individual categories, as will marketing activities by leading players. Due to increasing maturity, inflation uncertainty in the global economy and other factors, however, growth in total market volume sales is expected to be slightly slower than during the review period.

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