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Major Appliances Sales Seen Flat In 2002

Despite an uptick in majap shipments during the waning months of 2001 (see story p. 10), the industry outlook for the new year is for stagnant sales of white goods.

According to the latest trends and forecasts report issued by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the recent run of consecutive monthly increases in factory shipments will come to a screeching halt this year, as vendors will be hard pressed to even match 2001’s less than impressive numbers.

The total tally tells it all: according to AHAM projections, factory shipments of all major appliances will total 62.96 million units by year’s end, compared to the 63.18 million units that were sold at wholesale last year. By contrast, vendors shipped 64.99 million units in 2000, which remains the industry’s high water mark in wholesale sales.

Equally telling is the falloff in unit sales of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer and range categories, as reflected in the combined “AHAM 6” amalgam. Shipments of this group are expected to hit the 37.36 million unit mark this year, down from 37.46 million in 2001.

AHAM’s projections are a median of participating companies’ forecasts as of November 2001.

Based on those forecasts, only two categories will make it into the plus column this year — home laundry and kitchen cleanup — albeit barely. Some 13.68 million washers and dryers are expected to be shipped throughout 2002, compared to the 13.67 million sold at wholesale last year. Similarly, 11.15 million dishwashers, trash compactors and garbage disposers will be sold to retailers this year, compared to the 11.12 million shipped last year.

Taking it on the chin will be cooking — dropping to 20.62 million units this year from 20.79 million last — and food preservation, whose 11.07 million refrigerators and freezers falls short of last year’s 11.13 million in unit sales.

Yearly Majap Industry Shipments *

(In Thousands Of Units)