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Preview Edition - IFA International

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IFA Sneak Peek Aiming for a Cleaner Lifestyle Kärcher targets domestic market with new high end cleaning products Verena Schweizer and a fellow Kärcher representative at IFA Media event Until now, when one spoke of Kärcher, the average consumer thought about professional highpressure sprays for their cars and homes. Today, the German company is releasing a number of new and innovative cleaning products onto the consumer market. IFA International was given a “tour” of the company’s new products by spokesperson, Verena Schweizer. The innovation for IFA 2012 is Kärcher’s new DS 6.000 water filter vacuum cleaner. The highly efficient filter system ensures cleanliness of carpets, upholstery and the ambient air, because its exhaust air is significantly fresher than the ambient air, and its improved flow properties also make it very energy efficient. The new SC 6.800 and SC 6.800 CB high-end steam cleaner models will also be on show at IFA, along with the very useful WV 75 plus window vac – making smooth surfaces such as glass, mirrors and tiles gleam without as much as a streak, and the RC 4.000 RoboCleaner – an infrared guided cleaning robot. The robotic cleaning sector is, according to GfK, expanding rapidly in most zones across Europe... One to watch! Kärcher is mainly selling through specialist retailers across the continent, and is looking for new distribution partners at IFA 2012. Passage 2.1/4.1/101 “The highly efficient filter system ensures cleanliness of carpets, upholstery and the ambient air (…)” 32

spotlight on Europe Region Looking for Quality? Europe continues to stride ahead when it comes to style, innovation... and perfection Pleasing results for Technical Consumer Goods in Germany at the half-year stage Results of the GfK TEMAX Germany for the second quarter of 2012: The German Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) market recorded a pleasing semi-annual balance at the end of Q2 2012. Sales volume generated from April to June 2012 amounted to €11.9 billion and compared to the previous year, this represents a total increase of 8.5 percent. This is the result of GfK TEMAX Germany for the second quarter of 2012. All markets observed in TEMAX Germany during the second quarter of 2012 increased their turnover. In relation to the same period in the previous year, sales volume grew by 8.5 percent to €11.9 billion. In particular, Telecommunications (Telco) and Consumer Electronics (CE) contributed with double-digit sales growth. The CE sector is especially benefiting from the revenue driven by sales promotions during this year's European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine. The markets for Photo and Small Domestic Appliances (SDA) followed with successful results. Consumer Electronics: Sales boost from the European Football Championship Major sporting events are still a reliable factor for revenue growth in the CE market. Also, this year’s European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine turned out to be the sales driver, as expected. Due to a high number of trade promotions it was the demand for televisions that showed a significant increase in the second quarter 2012. The continuing trend for TVs with screen sizes over 40 inches and high quality equipment, such as HDTV and 3D, also caused a positive trend in the price development. GfK predicts that large-sized flat-screen TVs will continue to remain growth drivers. Whether it’s cars, watches, fashion, food or precision engineering, Europe still takes the lead in many ways... and this fact often comes at the price of jealousy from abroad! Ultimately, Europe’s technological and engineering “heart” is of course Germany, so it is no surprise that this is where the world’s leading “consumer lifestyle” show – IFA – takes place. And while it’s a commonly known fact that the heart of Europe’s economy beats as strongly as ever, it is occasionally in the interest of competitors in the USA and Asia to promote doomsday scenarios about the continent, in order to sneak a little more market share. So what are the facts? The credit crisis is of great concern in Greece, Ireland and Spain, and while it is having little effect on day to day spending, it is instilling a kind of general nervousness in the marketplace. On the other hand, many fundamentals remain extremely solid in Europe, and people must not forget this. It suffices to look at sales figures from Europe’s key luxury brands, setting new records, and carmakers such as Daimler and Audi with exceptional performances. In the electronics field, Siemens continues to prance in the lead when it comes to patents. According to the 2011 Patent Applicant Ranking of the European Patent Office (EPO), the company submitted 2,235 patent applications to the EPO in calendar year 2011 to capture first place in the European patent statistics. It is important to remember that high-end consumers are still spending as much, if not more than before. Now, more than ever, they are looking for quality. This explains the excellent ongoing results of companies producing high end products, while entry and mid-level brands suffer. For vendors marketing highend products in Europe, cutting back on promotion in these times is thus a grave marketing error. Siemens President and CEO Peter Löscher confirmed that Siemens will continue to invest in research and development at the current high level. In fiscal 2011, the company channelled nearly EUR 4 billion into research and development, of which over EUR 1 billion went to develop green technologies. Through intelligent joint ventures and licensing agreements, companies such as Philips and Thomson, rather than giving in to competition pressure from China and Taiwan, are leveraging this to create new strengths and markets. And while Europe’s Flat TV bull market of the past decade has ended, other sub-sectors, such as big screen TV, home audio, headphones, and network attached storage, just to name a few, are picking up pace. Furthermore, in Germany, the Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) market experienced a stable “(…) the heart of Europe's economy beats as strongly as ever (…)” start to 2012. According to the GfK TEMAX Germany survey for the second quarter of 2012, the total sales volume was just under EUR 11.9 billion, representing a positive growth rate of 8.5%. IFA this year will again be the stalwart in the European marketplace, and will no doubt see new records in terms of business deals signed. You can count on it. © iStockPhoto.com www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 27 th August 2012 33

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