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AC giant vows to ‘step over the boundary’

With the air conditioning market down 12 per cent in the UK, Mitsubishi Electric has told a sales conference of partners to target the heating market more aggressively.

Noting that the air conditioning market is 12 per cent down year on year, commercial director Donald Daw said the industry had to expand its reach.

“We can do this by moving into the mainstream heating industry and away from being classed as a cooling-only industry,” he said.

“There is already a general blurring of the boundaries and we all need to be ready to step over those boundaries.

“We need to highlight how beneficial heat pump technology can be in addressing the need for lower energy bills and carbon emission reduction.”

Mr Daw conceded the construction industry had been hit especially hard by the recession but said there were other reasons for the drop in sales of air conditioning.

“Our research shows that market growth in single and small splits systems is very dependant on weather patterns.

“For the past two years we have experienced cool summers in the UK and small businesses have no memory of substantial discomfort caused by warm weather – a normal summer in 2009 should see a return to growth in the small spits market,” he explained.

In the larger system and VRF markets, Mr Daw warned the dramatic impact of the recession on the construction industry will have much longer term implications.

“As an industry we have seen double-digit growth in the VRF market for many years and we had started to see this as the norm.

“We shouldn’t be surprised that in these tougher economic times businesses are cutting back on capital intensive building refurbishments.”

Mr Daw also warned that the tougher trading conditions will mean changes in the supply chain and weaker companies leaving the market.