August 08, 2020

The layoffs at the policy node worry about the appliance industry's re-inventory cycle

The news of the recent sharp layoffs of the home appliance industry giant, America, triggered the industry’s concern about the current crisis facing the manufacturing industry and the recurrence of the massive unemployment of workers during the 2009 financial crisis. Coupled with a number of support policies for home appliances are about to expire, which makes the market full of doubts about the performance of home appliances companies in 2012.

In an interview with a reporter from the China Securities Journal, Gree Electric Vice President Wang Jingdong said that after the high-speed growth of the home appliance industry including air conditioners in recent years, its growth rate has begun to slow down, and the shuffling within the industry is about to begin, but This is more of an opportunity for industry giants.

High inventory highlights

Due to sluggish sales in the third quarter, the high inventory pressure in the home appliance industry has become a major issue facing the home appliance industry.

Taking the air-conditioning industry as an example, the data for the first three months of the 2012 freezing year (August 2011 to August 2012) show that air-conditioning production and sales are declining month by month.

From August to October 2011, domestic air-conditioning output was 7.564 million units, 7.038 million units, and 6.144 million units, respectively, and the year-on-year growth rates were 8.5%, -0.03%, and -20.7% respectively. In terms of sales, they were 7.718 million units, 7.039 million units, and 5.93 million units, respectively, an increase of 4.8%, 3.1%, and -19% year-on-year. Among them, the export volume decreased for three consecutive months, which were 2.542 million units, 2.199 million units, and 1.953 million units, respectively, down 5.3%, 6.8%, and 23.7% year-on-year; the internal sales were 5.194 million units, 4.84 million units, and 3.978 million units respectively. Taiwan, the year-on-year growth rate was 10.5%, 8.4% and -16.4% respectively.

In the first three months, the total production, sales, and export volume of air conditioners were 20.736 million units, 20.688 million units, and 6.676 million units respectively, which were 4.6%, 3.8%, and 12% lower than the same period of the previous year, respectively. Both were significantly lower than the levels of the same period in 2009 and 2010, and the decline in exports was most noticeable.

In 2012, the air-conditioning export volume fell by 12% in the first three months of the frozen year. From the standpoint of enterprises, only Gree and Haier achieved continuous growth in exports, and the volume of exports from the United States dropped by more than 15% year-on-year.

Gree Electric also believes that the impact of the debt crisis in Europe, the home appliance industry will be affected by exports, some home appliances companies are too dependent on price advantage is facing greater pressure, and because China's air-conditioning industry accounts for nearly 80% of the global production capacity, some small The market after the company is squeezed out will be divided by several big giants.

Due to sluggish sales, the industry’s inventory is high. Industry data shows that at the end of the 2011 refrigerated year, air conditioner manufacturers had inventories of 10.8 million units and channel inventory of 5.4 million units, which was the highest level since the last five refrigeration years, accounting for approximately 14.2% of the total sales of the 2011 frozen year.

According to industry estimates, there may be a total of 20 million units of air-conditioning inventories for manufacturers and channels. Yang Zhigang, a researcher at Guodu Securities, believes that if the data is true, the total household air-conditioner output will grow by up to single digits in 2012, making it difficult to see more than 20% growth in the past few years.

The cold start of the year in 2012 was unfavorable and caused a big impact on the air-conditioner stocks. From November 1 to December 22, Midea (000527) dropped by 11.7%, Qingdao Haier (600690) by 17%, and Chigo Holdings (0449.HK) by as much as 50%.

Actively reduce production

In a two-vehicle (evaporator and cold-air cooler) workshop of an air-conditioning company in Guangdong, worker Xiaobai had been off work lately at 6pm. He Ho, a long-time technician in the air-conditioning industry, said that the air-conditioning plant was in full swing in the first half of the first half of the year, but suddenly he started to “slam on the brakes” in the second half of the year, and the company suddenly adjusted its production pace.

In fact, this situation is very common in the industry. The reason why the company's production workshop is not booming is that downstream channel inventory is high.

Guodu Securities researcher Yang Zhigang predicts that the current inventory of factories and channels may be as high as 20 million units, which is the highest level in history. Under the pressure of high inventory, sales growth of the 2012 annual frozen air-conditioning industry may be less than 10%, which also forced enterprises to Do not go to inventory.

One person in the household electrical appliance industry pointed out that in the face of high inventory, each company mainly adopts measures such as reducing overtime to adjust production plans, and it has not yet reached the point where production line employees are laid off. In addition, in the financial crisis of 2008, various companies also tried to retain the employees of the production line, which is also a lack of practical choice for skilled workers in the background. The “industrial spirit” advocated by Dong Mingzhu, president of Gree Electric Appliances, is precisely the protection of production workers.

Overdue policy forced industrial upgrading

Under the current environment of internal and external problems in the home appliance industry, there has also been a voice in the industry calling for the continuation of national incentive policies such as trade-in, household appliances, and rural areas.

The trade-in program started in 2009 and was originally scheduled to expire in May 2010. It expires at the end of December 2011 and expires later this month. Wang Jingdong, vice president of Gree Electric, believes that the trade-in policy has been implemented for more than two years and has promoted the consumption upgrade of household appliances in the urban market. The rapid increase in the market share of variable frequency air conditioners is inseparable with the policies. Industry data show that in September this year, China's home inverter air conditioner sales reached 2.586 million sets, accounting for 36.7% of total air-conditioning sales. A year ago, inverter air conditioner market share accounted for only about 20%.

At the same time, the implementation of home appliances to the countryside in some provinces and cities across the country has expired four years, but also began to withdraw. The first batch of three provinces and cities, including Shandong and Henan, which implemented home appliances to the countryside, have already expired in November 2011. The second batch of nine provinces will expire in November 2012. The third batch of other provinces and cities in the country will Expiration of February 2013.

Yuan Haoran, a researcher at GF Securities, pointed out that with the exit of home appliances to the countryside policy, the refrigerator industry with the largest profits during the period may also be the most affected, while the air conditioner industry has the least influence, and the policy is also weak for the industry to help boost the decline.

In addition, since 2012 is the last year for home appliances to the countryside, the industry also has some expectations for the hikes of the policy. Hefei Sanyo Dongmi Fang Bin believes that as the second and third batch of home appliances to the countryside are expired at the end of 2012 and early 2013, respectively, stimulated by the policy expiration, sales of home appliances to the countryside may usher in blowouts.

However, with regard to the question of whether or not national incentive policies should expire after the expiration of the old-fashioned incentives for home appliances to the countryside, many people in the industry have called for the upgrading of industries based on energy conservation and environmental protection, supplemented by policy incentives. At the 11th "China Cold Expo" recently held, there were companies that proposed the continuation of the above-mentioned incentive policies to the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, but no conclusion was formed at the meeting.

Zhu Jianghong, chairman of Gree Electric, once pointed out that energy-saving subsidies have disrupted the company's price system and have not helped the industry to survive. Fang Bin believes that the above encouragement policy does not need to continue. Looking at home appliances to the countryside, encouraging regular manufacturers' products to enter the rural market and expanding household appliances in the rural market, it also makes some small manufacturers that should have been eliminated in the market competition. Relying on policy development and expansion, it will not help upgrading the home appliance industry.

Industry insiders believe that under the current background of household appliances destocking, the entire industry is facing greater pressure, and leading companies such as Gree will continue to grow through their own strength through the cycle, and in the process of industry reshuffle to enhance market share . Yang Zhigang believes that the overall prosperity of the air-conditioning industry has passed in the past three years. Some small-scale enterprises will withdraw from the market under adverse circumstances. From the perspective of the number of enterprises, market share of leading companies such as Gree still has room for improvement, and profitability levels. Will continue to be better than the industry's overall level.

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