April Majap Shipments Soar
By Alan Wolf On Jun 7 2010 - 4:01am
WASHINGTON — The major appliance
industry roared back to life in April, riding
a wave of federally funded appliance
The $300 million cash-for-appliances
initiative hit its peak that month, following
a staggered state-by-state rollout
that began in February.
Retailers are reporting little halo effect,
however, as the state-managed programs
The effort, part of the Obama administration’s
economic stimulus program,
helped fuel a 12.1-percent spike in majap
factory shipments in April to 6.3 million
units, according to the latest wholesale
sales data collected by the Association
of Home Appliance Manufacturers
(AHAM), an industry trade group. Shipments
through the first quarter, however,
rose a more modest 1.6 percent.
Food preservation was the biggest
beneficiary of the subsidies that month,
with refrigeration shipments soaring 37.3
percent year over year.
Dishwashers saw the second-biggest
boost in April, with wholesale sales up
15.3 percent in units.
Cooking and home laundry tied for
third place, with gains of 13 percent
each. Leading the cooking crowd were
cooktops, which mounted a 44.2-percent
surge in gas-fueled models and a
26.6 percent gain in electric units.
In home laundry, gas-powered dryers
led the pack with a nearly 28 percent increase,
while the core washer category
enjoyed an 11.1 percent rebound in April.
The rebate program has also helped
heat up the room air conditioner category,
which had been stagnant for the past
two summers. Factory shipments rose
nearly 10 percent in April, but still show
a 10 percent decline for the quarter.
Providing a snapshot of the monthly
results were the AHAM 6, a composite
category comprised of washers, dryers,
dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers,
ranges and ovens. The core products together
mounted a nearly 20 percent increase
in factory sales, and were up 9.1
percent for the quarter.
First-quarter shipments didn’t reflect
the concentrated impact of the appliance
exchange program that was seen in April
and trailed that month’s tallies. Cooking,
for example, was essentially flat for the
three-month period with a 0.6 percent
decline, while washers edged up a modest
2.5 percent. Microwave ovens, which
didn’t generally qualify for the rebates,
experienced a 7.4 percent drop from the