European home appliances maker BSH Home Appliances has entered the mass-market segment with a new range of washing machines, hoping to reach more households in India. The company, which sell its products under the Bosch brand, will invest an additional Rs150 crore in expanding manufacturing capacity in its laundry segment, including doubling capacity for its front-load washing machine models.
The new top-load range of washing machines starting at ₹21,790 will be manufactured in Andhra Pradesh (Tirupati) through a third-party manufacturer.
“We really want to be a serious player in the washing machines market, and also overall as an appliance company. We need to enter every household in India,” Neeraj Bahl, managing director and CEO, BSH Home Appliances told Mint in an interview.
The laundry segment currently contributes 70% to BSH Home Appliances’ sales in India where it sells high-end refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers.
India’s washing machine market is estimated at ₹15,000-16,000 crore, with companies such as LG, Whirlpool, Bosch and Samsung selling a range of products. Bosch wants to target the mass market and compete with existing players that dominate the segment.
“The ‘Made in India’ Bosch Top Load washing machine is a part of BSH India’s strategy to expand presence in the mass segment while continuing to offer premium features and aesthetics. This comes from the company’s ambition to be a leader in consumer centricity and become a part of every household in India by 2025,” the company said in a statement.
In the laundry segment the company will bring in more investments in the current calendar year. “Whatever investment we have already made in the past, with the launch of these top load washing machines and in the overall laundry business, we will be putting an additional Euro 15 million or ₹150 crore this year,” Bahl said.
“This investment will mainly be in the laundry care market, and doubling capacity in the front-loading washing machine segment,” he added.
Nearly 55% of the laundry care market in India is driven by semi-automatic washing machines; the remaining 45% is occupied by the fully-automatic segment, which consists of top-load and front-load washing machines.
“So out of that 45%, nearly 55% is dominated by top-loading machines. And we were sort of missing in that segment. We launched a product two to three years ago but we were importing the product from China,” said Bahl.
High duties have prompted the company to shift manufacturing to India.
Other than premium refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers, the company sells microwaves and chimneys.
The company is also launching over 25 refrigerator models with a starting price of ₹27,000.
With the new range the company will also work on expanding its distribution reaching smaller cities and even rural markets.