By Chris Nicholls
MELBOURNE: Electrolux’s floorcare division has joined the growing list of manufacturers who have flagged future price rises as rising oil, manufacturing and transport costs take their toll.
Electrolux Floorcare and Small Appliances Managing Director, John Mahar told Current.com.au that his company was not immune from the ‘challenging times” the industry was facing, and said while the timing was uncertain, prices for their plastics dependent floor care appliances were likely to rise.
“We’re facing the same notable cost pressures out of China and other source places as Sunbeam and Breville are. I think the saviour to a degree has been the weak US dollar and strength of the AUD dollar, but that’s going to be chewed away with these cost price pressures and increases coming through now. Its going to be interesting to see how it’s all handled through the full supply chain to consumers. There are very few options available to suppliers but the inevitable [price rises].
“At this point in time, we are trying to absorb them [price rises], but ‘trying’ being the operative word. It’s quite possible we could well have a price increase at some point in the future. Just exactly whether that’s in the very short term, we’ll have to see,” Mahar said.
Mahar also confirmed Electrolux Floorcare and Light Appliances was continuing down the path to import the European parent’s small appliances, currently only available overseas, but said the decision was still subject to further study, and there was “no concrete timeline for that [importing the products] at this point”.
Departing European major appliances head, Magnus Yngen, announced the move to import the small appliances when he visited Australia in late 2006. At the time, Yngen was floorcare and small appliances global head.
“Small kitchen appliances are sold in exactly the way as floorcare, [so it] makes sense to get into that market,” Yngen told Current.com.au.
“This will not be a big bang launch and we are going to fold in products starting with limited distribution and a limited range, not broad based entry point products. The limited range will offer upscaled features and support innovative design and marketing communication,” he said.