Japanese maker hopes top-of-the-line Washlets make people flush with envy
TOKYO — Toto on Thursday added a new high-end line to its Neorest series of luxury Washlet toilets for sale worldwide, pricing it at nearly twice as much as the mass-market model.
The water-spraying Washlet, Toto’s signature product, combines the functions of a bidet and toilet.
In Japan, the new NX line will carry a suggested retail price of 570,000 yen ($5,090) before tax. Toto plans to release the fancy toilets here in August, followed by China in October, other parts of Asia and Oceania this winter and the Americas next summer.
The NX line, introduced to mark the company’s 100th anniversary, features improvements meant to keep the toilet clean and fight germs. The seams between parts are designed to a minimum, and the rim up around the inside of the toilet has few of the kinds of hidden angles that make cleaning difficult. The warm water sprayed from the bottom-rising nozzle is aerated for greater comfort, and the plastic lid is coated with a material to recreate the lustrous look of earthenware. To add another touch of class, the Toto logo is done in metal.
With the global introduction of the NX line, Toto aims to boost Neorest brand sales from the 190,000 units sold in fiscal 2019 to some 220,000 units in fiscal 2020. In that year, the Japanese maker of bathroom fixtures expects foreign sales to account for some 30% of total Neorest sales.
First sold in 1980, the Washlet topped shipments of 40 million units worldwide in 2015, but has remained mostly confined to Japan.
Nearly 80% of Japanese households have a toilet equipped with a warm-water-spraying seat, according to the Cabinet Office. With the Japanese market almost saturated, Toto is seeking new growth abroad.