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Ominous development on the bidet seat front

Posted by herring_maven (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 10:51

INAX is one of Japan's Big Two toilet and toilet seat makers. In Japan, INAX plays the role of BMW to Toto's Mercedes: a step ahead in R&D, a hipper image, generally a bit higher priced model-for-model. It is INAX, not Toto, who has a high-end luxury showroom in Tokyo's Ginza, near the Giorgio Armani showroom and the expensive jewelry stores. INAX is part of a larger industrial conglomerate, LIXIL.

Last year, LIXIL acquired the old American brand, American Standard (which in recent years had been manufacturing its toilets in China), formerly a part of Bain Capital (associated with a candidate for U.S. president). Speculation then was that LIXIL would leverage American Standard's infrastructure to allow the INAX line to compete more effectively in North America against Toto, which had several years' head start in marketing its products on this continent.

The INAX website points in the other direction. LIXIL apparently is courting the bottom end, rather than the top end, of the United States market. The link above redirects to In fact, clicking on any product link, for any INAX product on the site redirects you to the same page. And if you scroll down that page to the Bathroom Products links and click on the link for Toilets, Seats, and Bidets, all of the INAX line has disappeared entirely.

It is a shame, because the INAX advanced toilet seats really are better across the product line than their Toto Washlet opposite numbers.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ominous development on the bidet seat front

LIXIL apparently is courting the bottom end

in more ways than one? ;^)

RE: Ominous development on the bidet seat front

hoovb, you restore my faith in humanity.

RE: Ominous development on the bidet seat front

I think Crane is part of that group too.

Inax can still be found in the US if you look for it - Amazon shows several models. But their service/parts organization is probably not that extensive.

There's all kinds of nice plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, and appliances that are impossible to find the US. Japanese stuff at least has the advantage of usually running on 120v / 60Hz unlike European imports.

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