Inverters boom in Russia
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People believe that the first Inverter Type Split System was invented by Toshiba Co. in 1981. After that practically every leading Japanese company introduced this type system within 2-3 years. The use of state-of-the-art technology, which allowed the users of Inverter Type Systems to save 20-25% energy per year, favored the rapid growth of Inverter Type System popularity especially in the nations with high prices for electricity, first of all, in Japan.
It is worth mentioning that in the mid-80s the novelty prices were by far higher that ones of traditional models. However, as early as in 1986 Inverter Type Splits share reached 25% on Japanese air conditioner market. According to JARN, today’s share of Inverters in total sales increased up to 89,5%. It is interesting to note that it practically culminated at 94,5% on household air conditioner market and amounted to 25% among Cassette, Duct and Floor-Ceiling models. JARN forecasts Inverter Type Splits share to increase up to 50% on PAC market by 2003 with its subsequent growth.
Much of Inverter Type Splits popularity can be contributed to a rapid decrease in a difference between traditional and inverter type models prices. As early as 3-4 years ago it was about $70-120. Nowadays many Japanese companies offer Inverters practically at standard model prices on their domestic markets.
In the mid-90s Inverter Splits started being promoted beyond the bounds of Japan , first of all, in Europe, South Korea and Australia. And within the last 2-3 years Inverter type air conditioners were introduced by the Korean companies – LG and Samsung, by European companies – Airwell and DeLonghi, by Israeli company – Electra and practically by every leading Chinese manufacturer.
INVERTERS PENETRATE INTO RUSSIA
The first Inverter Type Split model presented on the Russian market in spring 1995 was Fujitsu General ASY10PSA. But it was not practically noticed. And only a year later Sharp Co. started promoting this equipment. However, Inverter- and Multi- Type Split Systems won their popularity only in 1998. By that moment the widest range of this equipment was offered by Hitachi Co., who had been an undoubted leader in this market segment up to the last year season. In 2000 Hitachi ‘s share in Inverter Type Splits sales on the Russian market was above 60%. And it is still more than 43% in total Inverter Type Splits installed in Russia . One can say for sure that these are Hitachi and Sharp who introduced this equipment to Russian customers.
In 2001 there was an explosion in Inverter Type Splits sales on the Russian market (see Figure 1).
Much of that can be contributed to the Daikin Corporation’s decision to sell Inverter Type Splits at price of ordinary models. Panasonic and Chofu also started selling this type equipment more actively. As a result, the number of Inverter Type Splits sold in Russia increased by 2,3 times this season and amounted to 11,3% share in total RAC Splits sales. The following Figure 2 presents Mono- and Multi- Splits sales on RAC market.
Inverter Type air conditioners share on Multi-Splits market segment is rapidly increasing for the last years and amounted to 40% in 2001 already. This can be mainly explained by active promotion arranged by Daikin, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric and for some time now Mitsubishi Heavy to increase sales of Inverter Multi-Splits models allowing its users to make tens of combinations with indoor units. Moreover, one should take into account high popularity gained by multi-indoor unit models on the Russian Multi-Splits market for the last 2-3 years.
The following figures present shares of various Mono- and Multi-Splits manufacturers:
Both figures show Daikin’s leading position and Hitachi ‘s second position in 2001. The third position is taken by PANASONIC on Mono Splits Market and Mitsubishi Electric on Multi Splits Market.
In 2002 experts do not expect any crucial changes in this market situation. However, various companies’ shares would most likely undergo some changes. This season a number of brands started promoting Inverter air conditioner s more actively. So Mitsubishi Heavy managed to sell this type models as many as within the previous season by early April already. Panasonic Co. introduced a completely new range of Inverter R-410A models with 3,63-3,7 coefficient of performance. Experts also expect Inverters share to increase in Chofu, Fujitsu General, Toshiba and DeLonghi sales. Besides, 2002 may witness an entrance of Chinese manufacturers. Especially since there were registered some supplies of Chinese equipment from China to the Far East last season.
It is interesting to look at LG Inverter models sales. Unlike European part of Russia where their share does not exceed 0,5% of all type Splits sales, it accounted for 9% in the Far East . This likely can be explained by the fact that the Far East is a region where electric power deficit and the highest prices for electricity have been registered lately.