Electrolux, Toshiba Seek Greater Household-Name Recognition

AB Electrolux and Toshiba Corp. have announced an alliance that both companies believe will increase their shares of the global household-appliances pie. While specific programs have not been detailed, the agreement calls for the manufacturers to collaborate in areas of technology exchange, product sourcing and purchasing, and logistics, among others. Stockholm-based Electrolux is already a leading household-appliance manufacturer in many parts of the world, producing such well-known brands as Eureka, Frigidaire, and White-Westinghouse. For its part, Electrolux looks to improve its position in Asia, an area the company says is ripe for growth but one that is still dominated by local manufacturers. Among its objectives in signing the agreement is to learn from Toshiba how to develop distribution channels in Japan. For Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp., the goal is to increase its sales of household appliances outside of Japan, which it describes as a mature market. While its white-goods business (washing machines, refrigerators, etc.) was 260 billion yen (US$2.1 billion) in fiscal year 1998, less than 5% of that total was from international sales. Toshiba says it expects individual efforts and its alliance with Electrolux to increase its international sales to more than 10% in two to three years.

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