Toshiba unit aims to consolidate second place in laptop market

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Peruvian unit of Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba expects to consolidate its position as the second largest laptop vendor in the country this year, Toshiba Peru country manager Óscar Mendoza told BNamericas.

Last year, the company reached second place in market share in Peru during the first two quarters, but lost the position in the second half, mostly due to what Mendoza calls a reduced availability of products at the time.

"We have been doing business in Peru for four years, and we have increased our business tenfold [since then]. 2007 was especially good because we entered the retail market," Mendoza said. "And it is also important to consider that in our 2007 numbers, we are not including the laptops sold under the government program to provide laptops for teachers."

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As part of the One Laptop per Teacher program, Peru's government, through state-owned Banco de la Nación, offered teachers in the public sector the possibility to acquire the products with preferential rates and in 48 installments.

In 2007, Toshiba increased sales in Peru by 200%, holding a 10% market share in the local laptop market, which was estimated at some 90,000-95,000 units, according to the executive.

In only the first half of 2007, Toshiba Peru equaled the number of units sold for all of 2006, and the goal this year is a 120% increase.

The retail segment is expected to drive growth, according to Mendoza. The company launched a strategy for the segment last year and Peruvian retailers are growing in terms of stores and loan placements.

According to Mendoza, Peru is one of the fastest growing markets for the company in Latin America, along with the Central American region. Considering Toshiba's growth in the country and also the local political and economic situation, the company is analyzing the possibility of opening an office in Peru.