The Panasonic refrigerator recall that started this month hurt its brand and in terms of sales and influence, the effect was also obvious. Market share of both Panasonic refrigerators and washing machines declined within a week.
According to latest data released by All View Consulting, a week after the incident, market share of Panasonic refrigerators dropped 0.8 percent, while the washing machine market share has fallen 1.8 percent.
For a long time, Japanese home appliances products have enjoyed a high-end image. However, domestic brands like Haier and Midea, which have been making gains in the high-end market, are starting to chip away at the Japanese brands’ market share.
Domestic brand’s high-end market share has risen from 35 percent in 2008 up to 43 percent.
Unlike Japanese brands, Korean brands started in the low-end market. Samsung has said that in the future it adopt a differentiated market strategy in China, and will expand market share through low-end, medium and high-end products to compete with Japanese brand home appliances in China.
These measures eroded Panasonic’s market share. Data shows that in the first half of 2010, Panasonic refrigerator’s market share in China was less than 2 percent and is behind other foreign brands like Siemens, Samsung and LG Electronics. Panasonic washing machines’ market share also has fallen from 11 percent in the beginning of this year to 8 percent.
Panasonic is a case study of Japanese home appliance companies’ destiny in the Chinese market. Toshiba TV and Sharp’s “discriminatory sales” also caused Japanese brands to lost face. Many Japanese home appliances companies are now moving manufacturing plants to China, which can reduce export costs, but they still cannot increase market share.
Panasonic China declared on its Web site on Aug 1. that it will recall over 360,000 refrigerators in China due to a control valve defect. It was the largest home appliance recall in China in recent years.
According to the declaration, the defect may cause the cooling compartment to get either too cold or not cold enough in certain circumstances, or a refrigerant leak, or even cause smoke and fire. The defective part has already been responsible for 13 safety incidents in China.
The recall involves 29 models from the B20-B26 and C23-C29 series produced from March 2007 to March 2009. A total of nearly 366,000 refrigerators on the Chinese mainland are included in the recall.
Last November, Samsung recalled 32,000 refrigerators in China while LG recalled 672 washing machines in February. At present, only some foreign brands have recalled their defective products in China, while no domestic home appliance company has yet to conduct a recall.
&$&$By Huang Beibei, People’s Daily Online&$&$
Panasonic recall leaves scar on Japanese appliance brands