Always faster, always better: In the 1980s, TOTO started selling WASHLET – their innovative bidet toilet – in markets around the world, starting with Japan and then moving abroad. This year, the Japanese sanitary experts marked 60 million WASHLET models sold world-wide since the market launch in 1980. The major leap from 50 million to 60 million happened in just three years. It’s quite remarkable when one considers that it took 18 years – from 1980 to 1998 – to sell the first 10 million units. According to the latest figures, the Japanese bidet toilets are selling faster and faster each year.
From Japan to the rest of the world: In 1980, Japanese sanitary specialist TOTO introduced the innovative and little-known toilet with the bidet feature – and in 2022, the company is celebrating 60 million models sold. A look back in time shows how this process has accelerated over the years: It took seven years from the market launch to reach the one million mark, and another 11 years to overcome the 10-million-unit hurdle. The leap from 50 to 60 million happened in just three years – from 2019 to 2022.
Introducing a new way of using the toilet
According to TOTO LTD. President Noriaki Kiyota, TOTO expanded its activities abroad in 1982 to “show the world a new way of using the toilet”. In the late 1980s, the company started selling WASHLET successfully in the United States. TOTO expanded to the European market in 2009. Today, TOTO is available in 18 countries throughout various regions of the world.
WASHLET models are found all over Japan – TOTO’s “showroom for the world”
TOTO is the clear market leader in Japan, where over 80% of homes have bidet toilets – the majority of which are TOTO WASHLET models. Using bidet toilets is part of everyday life in Japan. WASHLET models are found in most public restrooms, commercial facilities, airports and modes of public transport, including airplanes and high-speed trains. Bidet toilets are also standard in Japanese hotels, offices, schools and health care facilities.
Higher standard of hygiene world-wide
According to TOTO’s latest figures, the number of WASHLET models purchased in Japan increased by a factor of 1.2 – and the number of exported models grew fivefold.
While WASHLET is well-established throughout most of Japan, TOTO has seen rapidly growing demand in North America, Europe and China. The company estimates that this development is partly due to the pandemic, which has raised standards of hygiene in countries outside of Japan.
High quality and service “Made in Japan”
WASHLET is gaining ground in Europe as well. In the last several years, WASHLET has become increasingly popular in upscale hotels and private homes. Since its European market launch in 2009, the Japanese sanitary experts have developed an extensive product range in all price categories specifically for this region – but with the same high standards of quality and innovative hygiene and comfort technologies found the world over. The high quality and discerning service philosophy people associate with products “Made in Japan” helps foster trust in WASHLET, which stands out among competitors thanks to sophisticated technologies unique to TOTO.
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