Tata Group firm Voltas on Tuesday said it expects a 50 per cent jump in air conditioners sales by the end of the next fiscal at 12 lakh units.

The company, which is likely to close this fiscal with 8 lakh units, said it plans to increase production capacity to meet demand while also ramping up research and development.

It has earmarked an investment of up Rs. 65 crore to expand its manufacturing facilities and on marketing activities during the upcoming fiscal.

“We plan to sell around 1.2 million units of ACs by the next fiscal. By 2015, our aim is to sell 3 million units,” Voltas Ltd. Chief Operating Officer (Units Products Business Group) Pradeep Bakshi told reporters here.

The company is also gearing up to expand its production capacity to 8 lakh units from 5 lakh units in its two facilities at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand, besides upgrading its R&D centre.

“To expand our facilities and to build a separate R&D hub we will require an investment of Rs. 15 crore to Rs. 20 crore...Another Rs. 50 crore will be our marketing budget for the year,” he said.

Besides, Voltas is also enhancing its distribution channels particularly in the Tier-II and Tier-III cities besides improving its after-sales services.

“We have around 5,000 channel partners across the country. We want to increase it by 20 per cent this year,” Mr. Bakshi said, adding the total number of brand shops would be increased to 100 within the fiscal from the current 80.

The company, which introduced 70 new models of air conditioners for this summer season, is betting on the newly launched 5-star rated products to push its sales during the year.

Voltas had a turnover of over Rs. 4,600 crore in last fiscal, of which around Rs. 1,300 crore came from its unitary products division which comprises mostly its air conditioner business.

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