Toto looks to expand in Europe

JIJI

Toto Ltd. is stepping up its efforts to promote toilet seats with warm-water bidet features for Europe in collaboration with German ceramics maker Villeroy & Boch AG.

The Japanese sanitary ware maker will launch products in Germany and Switzerland by the end of this year, aiming to make use of the brand power of the German firm to tap into European markets, where little is currently known about such products.

Manufactured by Toto, the seats will be sold under the German brand for about 3,000 euros.

“Europe has the culture of the bidet, which gives a basis for such toilet seats to be accepted,” Toto President Kunio Harimoto said.

Villeroy & Boch Chief Executive Frank Goring suggested that the product can become common in Europe faster than it did in Japan, where it took 10 years for annual sales to reach 100,000 units.