The Indian arm of Whirlpool has launched a new 'Ozone AirRefresh' technology designed to wash delicate clothes without any detergent or water. Designed for the Indian market, the technology is integrated into the Xpert Care range of front-loading washing machines, which also feature regular wash cycles for everyday clothes and laundry. This front load range is being manufactured at Whirlpool’s new state-of-the-art washing machine facility in Puducherry. Built with an investment of Rs115 crore, this greenfield project was completed in 11 months.
“After extensively studying the Indian consumers’ evolving needs and usage habits, we have combined the insights with our global technology expertise to deliver breakthrough innovations. Our focus has been to provide meaningful solutions that enhance comfort and convenience in the everyday lives of consumers. Our upcoming launches are all a testimony to the same and reflect our efforts to strengthen our Make in India commitment and aim for market leadership,” said Vishal Bhola, Managing Director, Whirlpool of India.
Whirlpool said this new technology uses ozone to gently refresh clothes while removing odor and up to 99.9% bacteria & allergens. The Xpert Care also features steam wash technology to sanitize clothes and Whirlpool’s 6th Sense SoftMove proprietary technology that uses a combination of sensors and algorithms to intelligently sense the load and adapt the speed to create the movement for the clothes that minimizes friction and maximises washing performance. In addition, the company has added Freshcare Technology to keep garments odor free for up to 6 hours, even if left in the washer after a cycle.
Along with strengthening its presence in the front-loading washing machines, Whirlpool has also refreshed its top-load and semi-automatic lineup ahead of the festive season with a total of 30 SKUs. The Stainwash Pro range of top-load washing machines will also be powered by 6th Sense Stainwash Technology, and an in-built heater removes up to 40 tough stains and removes up to 99.9%germs & allergens. And the Hydrowash semi-automatic washing machine range with 3D Wave technology uses powerful waves of water to deliver superior cleaning performance for every strand of your clothes, the company said.
Investments in India: Whirlpool manufactures 95% of the washing machines sold in the country in India. The company has also invested over Rs 800 crore in the country over the last two to three years, including expansion of manufacturing facilities and acquiring more shares in Elica PB India, the local arm of Italy’sElica S.p.A. that makes induction hobs, boilers, kitchen hoods, and chimneys.
Industry numbers: The industry expects to sell close to 6 million washing machines in India this year, with an uptick in the mid-premium category once again. Whirlpool in India is amongst the top three washing machine players in India, which combined contribute to about 75-80%market share. In sync with the industry growth in double-digit growth, Bholabelieves Whirlpool will still be ahead of the competition.
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