And as I did that I looked around and saw all these other people in the United States who have made this decision to go out on their own. Not necessarily to create a giant company but to live a better life, to enjoy life a little bit more, to do work that mattered more significantly. As I looked around at these people who were doing this, I said, “We don’t know very much about them.” So I started doing some research to try to find out about this whole group of people that I called free agents. And there wasn't any much information about them out there. And I said, “This is strange, it seems like you have a lot of people who are working in this new way, a way that's very different from the traditional, what in the United States we call organization man or what you here in Japan you call ryman, you know, salary man work. And I'd love to find out more.” So I decided to go travel around the United States and conduct a census of this new nation of free agents.
And what I found was quite interesting. For starters, I recognized that there were a lot of people who were working this way. The fact that the majority of the people in the United States still have regular jobs, but a significant minority now do not have regular jobs. They're working as freelancers or independent professionals or proprietors of very small businesses or temporary workers, some of them are very unhappy, others are actually very happy. And if you look at a state like California, a state in the United States where everything happens first, in California today only one third of the population has a traditional job. Only one third of the population has a job where you: leave work in the morning, you go somewhere else, you work for someone else, and you do it full time year round—just a regular job. Only one out of three people in California has a regular job. Two out of three do not. Two out of three have alternative kinds of employment. So what I discovered about free agents in the United States I thought was interesting, and I think has some relevance for Japan.
Let me describe a couple of things. The first is that the bargain at the center of work has changed. It used to be, especially here in Japan, even more so than in the United States, the bargain at work was like this: You gave loyalty to a corporation, and in return the corporation gave you security. That was the bargain, loyalty for security. And that worked fine, but it doesn't exist any more. It certainly doesn't exist in the United States, and it's existing less and less here in Japan. That is, companies are not providing that security, and so the bargain has changed. It's a very different bargain and for those of you who are listening to this, who are thinking about your own career, it's important you understand what the terms of that bargain really are, because if you're looking for long term security, you will not find it. It does not exist. So the new bargain is this: The individual gives talent and in return the organization gives opportunities. And the opportunities are a mix of opportunities. Some of it is financial, some of it is the opportunity to work with great people, some of it is the opportunity to learn new skills, some of it is the opportunity to do interesting work, some of it is the opportunity to do work that matters, that has an impact on the world—and that's the bargain. So understanding, that bargain, which applies strongly to free agents but increasingly, is applying to workers who have regular jobs too. So the bargain has changed.
The other thing that I think is interesting is our notions of loyalty, and that's actually a fairly rich concept here. There are some people, who say that in a world of free agents there is no loyalty, but that's wrong; that's absolutely wrong. What's happened is that not loyalty has disappeared, but that it's changed. And the way that I like to think about it is this: It used to be (going back to our bargain for a moment)... it used to be that loyalty was vertical: up and down. You gave loyalty up; the company gave security back down. As I said, that bargain doesn't exist any more; but what has happened to loyalty is not that it just disappeared, but that it's gone from vertical to horizontal. There is now horizontal loyalty. If you go out into the work force today there is a lot of loyalty, but it's not loyalty from individual to a company; it's loyalty of individuals to their peers, it's loyalty of individuals to their profession, it's loyalty of individuals to their customer. It's multiple kinds of loyalty that go horizontally rather than one kind of loyalty that goes up and down. So in some ways it's actually a richer more robust form of loyalty than the old way. So that's very important to understand.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming to our new product announcement. I am Miles Taylor, General Manager, Asia Pacific Region. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people from the press for your continued interest in our activities and products. Today, I am very excited to reveal our new air purifier product AX12, developed through a combination of our leading-edge energy-saving and miniaturization technologies.
Let me give you a brief summary of the new product, after which our product development expert will go through a detailed product demonstration, including highlights of new features we have added based on customer requirements. I will start with the market projection. Please look at Page 3 of the power point material included in the handout.
Due to the low birth rate and aging of society, the Japanese home appliances market is expected to contract by 1-2% every year between 2011 and 2015. The market size will shrink from the current 400 billion yen to less than 350 billion yen, leaving room only for a very few players to survive. The market structure will become increasingly integrated rather than distributed. This is an inevitable consequence of demographic change and it means that the Japanese market will be more competitive. But as long as we continue to be one of the winners, we can enjoy sustainable growth going forward.
Despite this shrinkage in size, our commitment to the Japanese market will be unchanged, because we believe that we can still increase our sales and profits by taking the shares of others. We are confident that we can beat competitors on the back of our competitive advantages, such as unique technology and efficient manufacturing.
Now, let me talk about the long-awaited, powerful new product, AX12. This new air purifier capitalizes on our leading-edge energy-saving and miniaturization technologies. It can reduce power consumption during the summer by an average of 15%, while improving heating efficiency during the winter by a maximum of 10%. The size of the product is 5% smaller than the conventional by 12 x 15 inches. The smaller size helps reduce power consumption and CO2 emissions.
This is important for countries like Japan which are signatories of the Kyoto Protocol. Japan is committed to reducing greenhouse gases by 6% from the 1990 level. In order to mitigate climate change, our company is striving to develop environmentally conscious products which reduce environmental impact not only during their use but also through their life cycle.
Thus, the target segment of AX12 is environmentally-conscious young consumers living in urban areas in Japan, where there is an increasing need for electric products that help energy saving and environmental conservation. The product is competitively priced and affordable for anyone at 32,800 yen. It is even more attractive when you consider the total lifetime cost rather than just the initial investment.
With the launch of this new product, our goal is to increase sales and accelerate growth as a leading player, taking the shares of weaker competitors. Our growth strategy is reflected in the recent acquisition of a sales company in Japan, which should facilitate the ongoing shift from indirect to direct distribution of products. The new product, AX12, should definitely help us enhance this growth strategy. The targeted sales for AX12 are 30 billion yen in the first year and 100 billion yen by 2015.
We also have a plan to enhance our production capacity through the expansion of the existing plant in Thailand. This would mean that our overseas production ratio will go up in the future, and we can take advantage of highly-skilled but more inexpensive local manpower. Besides, we already have enough land to construct another plant and therefore we can easily increase capacity without a lot of capital expenditure.
I would like to conclude my remarks by asking for your continued support and cooperation. Thank you for listening. Before the product demonstration by Mr. Okada, General Manager of Product Development, let's take a 15-minute break while we are setting up the projector. Please come back by 3.30 pm.