The global economic recession and cool summer have caused a sharp decrease in the air conditioning industry in the first half of 2009 . Markets in both the United States and Europe saw big drops , and the market in Japan also touched bottom . It has become more pressing for air conditioner manufacturers to survive the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression than to develop their markets , Accordingly , almost all leading manufacturers have adjusted their strategies to give them an edge in reducing inventories and maintaining market share .
Continuing Global market Decline
Sale in the global market saw decreases in most part of the world in the first half of 2009 . In the United States , one of the largest air conditioner markets in the world , sales of window-type and unitary-type air conditioners both saw decreases of about 30% . According to the latest figures released by the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association (JRAIA) , IN Japan shipments of room air conditioners (RACs) came to 2.7 million units , a 9% decrease compared with the same period last year ; shipments of PACs totaled 313.000 units , a 25% decrease . In Europe , sales recorded a 20% decrease . The good news is that in China , the largest market in the world , air conditioner sales rose by 6% . Australia also experienced a 5% increase in air conditioner sales .
Two negative factors . both extremely important for the air conditioning business , have had a major effect on the global market in the first half of this year . The first is the global economic recession that has hit both the residential and the light commercial sectors . The second factor , which is mostly influencing residential sales , is the cool summer weather in most of the countries that lead the global air conditioner market .
It is estimated that the global air conditioner market this year will decrease by 10% compared with 2008 . The air conditioner markets in China , North America , Japan , and major European countries should still make up more than 70% of the world market .
Incentive Policies to Stimulate the Market
The stagnant economic situation has forced almost all leading countries in the air conditioner market to adopt stimulus packages . In the United States , after President Obama took office in January 2009 , the government launched a US$ 787 billion economic stimulus package . More than US$ 20 billion is earmarked for energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects .
Many European countries also adopted measures to stimulate their economies . For example , the governments of France , Germany , and the united Kingdom all passed packages to try to lessen the impact of the economic recession . In general , the amount of the European economic stimulus measures is about one-third of that of the United States .
In Japan , the government aimed its latest economic stimulus program at boosting flagging consumption and fighting the recession , offering ‘ecopoints’ for the purchase of certain environmentally-friendly appliances . The program allow buyers of energy-efficient air conditioners ,, refrigerators and some other types of home appliances to later exchange the points for other goods and services worth up to nearly US$ 410 per appliance .
2009 Global AC Market
In China , the government has adopted several proactive policies to pull domestic demand , including stabilizing the exchange rate and a higher export rebate rate , which is 17% at present . Another important step is the ‘Home Appliances to the Countryside Scheme .’ According to the scheme , the government grants rural consumers a subsidy of 13% of the selling price of home appliances . State finances cover 80% of the subsidy and the remaining 20% comes from local finances . The project aims to increase appliance sales in rural areas by offering selected products , including air conditioners , at controlled prices .