The Sub-zero Continent
Sun-scorched India is fast becoming one of the world’s hottest markets for air conditioners, as manufacturers rush to capitalize on an unsaturated market and a consumer base with rising disposable incomes. The average price for air conditioners in India has dropped by about 20 percent over the past two years, and sales have been booming; LG Electronics, the world’s largest AC manufacturer, expects air-conditioner sales in India to increase by 20 percent per year for the next three years. “All these years we’ve thought of an AC as an expensive luxury product but that’s no longer true,” said Ravinder Zutshi, vice-president of sales at Samsung India. “[The AC] has moved from its luxury status to a necessity item just like any washing machine or refrigerator.” Other energy-guzzling appliances are also becoming commonplace in India: Sales of color TVs, for example, are expected to surge 30 to 35 percent this year.