1 year ago

Day 5 - IFA International

  • Text
  • Washing
  • Products
  • Berlin
  • Vacuum
  • September
  • Haier
  • Models
  • Consumers
  • Consumer
  • Appliances

Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview INTELIUS 600 - PERFORMANCE AT THE SERVICE OF THE ENVIRONMENT At IFA 2013, Haier has launched a new washing machine combining performance and innovative features. The Intelius 600 combines optimum washing results and respect for the environment. R&D investments have resulted in unique performance. Indeed, according to Haier, the Intelius 600 is the first washing machine on the market to achieve a power consumption of 98kWh/year, equivalent to 3 ampoules of 12 Watts, or a saving of 50% compared to the best class of the market. The same goes for water consumption, since only 5L of water per kilo cycle guarantee an impeccable result! Smart Detecting automatically adjusts the amount of water and detergent necessary depending on the hardness of the water, to obtain the ideal wash cycle. The SD motor (Smart Drive) offers a complete silent wash cycle. Efficient, it has an exceptional warranty of 12 years. Smart Dual Spray activates at the end of cycle to remove any residue or textile fibre that can accumulate on the door or the door seal. 14 Branding Yes, bu Haier heads for high ground, with René Aubertin CEO, Haier Europe “IFA 2013 is the first time that the Haier booth has been 100% dedicated to premium and high-end models – dishwashers, cooling products, freezers and washing machines” The Chinese manufacturer Haier, number one white goods vendor worldwide, continues on its march towards being a high-end brand. René Aubertin, CEO of Haier Europe, talks to IFA International about how his company is working to stand out in Europe. In 2010, Haier decided to be primarily oriented towards premium and high-end models. This is because Haier has a great deal of industry strength, Haier has very strong R&D capacity, and Haier is really an innovative brand for home appliances and air conditioning. When I arrived in the company some years ago, we decided to totally change the company’s business model – moving from selling entry-level models and OEM to becoming a premium and high end brand. IFA 2013 is the first time that the Haier booth has been 100% dedicated to premium and high-end models – dishwashers, cooling products, freezers and washing machines. At IFA, you can see the Intelius 600 washing machine, which is A+++ minus 50%: the lowest energy consumption on the market. It’s the equivalent of three light bulbs – and even less than the consumption of a TV. So energy consumption is important for customers… Yes, absolutely. In a customer survey, 95% of consumers said the most important USPs were energy consumption and long-lasting products. That’s why we guarantee our motor 12 years. The Intelius 600 washing machine has an amazing motor – no noise and no vibration, and it has the lowest energy consumption that exists today. So definitively, Haier is moving to becoming a premium and high-end brand; this is my strategy. But people in Europe still have pre-conceived ideas about chinese products... It's true… In the mindset of many customers, there is a lot of confusion between low quality and Chinese manufacturers. When somebody tells me this, I say, ‘Okay, so give me back your mobile phone, your TV, or your laptop, as they have most likely been made in China'. Of course, Haier is a Chinese native company. We produce in China, but more and more, we manage our business locally. Of course we have the Chinese operation, but locally we have R&D, marketing and factories. R&D has opened in Nuremburg – with 29 engineers coming from another brand that closed its R&D centre. These people are working primarily on dishwashers and washing machines. That’s why, stepby-step – in dishwashers – we will be able to show better and better products – coming from the local R&D; not worldwide R&D. Second is marketing. We have a very strong marketing team here in Europe, driven by a European guy and myself – in, order to stick to European demand. European demand is totally different, and this has to be taken into consideration. The third aspect is that of our factories. Today we have a factory in Italy producing three-door refrigerators, and last week we announced an agreement with the Fagor brand to open a factory in Poland to manage Combi, Combinofrost and single door units. This will be one

Exclusive Interview ut Product First product set to drive brand recognition René Aubertin demonstrates the new Intelius 600 washing machine at the Haier booth - Hall 3.1 Demonstrating the revolutionary washing machine motor - silent and vibration-free of the biggest factories in Europe, because the target after three years will be to achieve one million units produced annually, which will make it the biggest plant of its kind in Europe. So we have our R&D locally, we manage our marketing, and we have our factory. It’s what we call the 3D business model. This is something very different, which many other Chinese brands don't have. Talking about R&D, what areas do you think are going to be the most important for Haier in the next years? There are many. The first one is energy and water saving. The second is that something new has to happen one day in this business. A washing machine always washes the same way. A dishwasher always works the same way. A compressor always works the same way. One day that has to change. The third thing is that the product will increasingly be managed by the mobile phone or the tablet. And this will change the shape of the product. Remember a TV? 20 years ago it had a lot of buttons on it. Today there are none. So the shape is very different. The same thing will probably happen with home appliances. If we are able to drive a home appliance with a smartphone or tablet, maybe the washing machine will have no front panel any more. This is what we want to do today in R&D: change the shape of the product and find the new technology – and of course we have some ideas – for the future. What is your overall vision for Haier in Europe in the coming years? Where do you see the company going? Our core business is in white goods. Our second core business is in air conditioning. Two years ago, we launched a very strong division called “home solution”, which is not only air conditioning; it’s a way of managing air and water in the home. With a heat pump you manage air conditioning, hot water and heating, all with the same system. This fits with the trend towards low consumption buildings or what they call the “passive” house in Germany. Our business plan covers white goods and the home solution. Then there are our brown goods. Here, we produce TVs, tablets and smartphones. The TV is a commodity product. We continue to sell TV, but it’s tactical. But tablets and smartphones are very important for us, as they will be the way to manage other products in the future. How important is IFA for you in your marketing efforts? IFA is very important, because it is the first place to meet the European customers – all of them. Of course, the leading markets are here, but also Russia, Eastern Europe and all the others. Germany and France account for at least 60% our business here. So for me, IFA is very important, and every year we want to show at IFA that Haier is improving. I remember our “(…) we have our R&D locally, we manage our marketing, and we have our factory. It's what we call 3D business.” IFA booth in 2009 that was totally different to the one we have now! IFA is a way of showing that ‘something is happening’. What personally excites you the most about your products? Products are the heart of the company. When a brand has a product, it exists; without product, it cannot exist. So for me, the most important thing is to have product. Many customers say to me, ‘René, Haier is not well known’. But one day, the product will be known. If I tell you today we have the best energy saving product on the market, that’s a fact. Then the customer says, ‘Oh… that’s Haier’. That’s why I have a passion for the product, without which we cannot survive. Step by step the branding will follow. Hall 3.1 Stand 103 IFA International • Tuesday 10 th September 2013 15

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