By James Wells in Gutersloh, Germany
GUTERSLOH: The strong Euro currency against the US Dollar is tempting Miele co-owner Dr Markus Miele, who is considering a US factory to capitalise on growth in North America.
Dr Miele told Current.com.au that the next manufacturing facility outside the European market could be established in North America following strong demand in the market for larger capacity laundry and built-in cooking products which have been developed to accommodate the needs of consumers in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
“The next facility outside of Europe could be in the US. The exchange rate has risen more than 40 per cent in the last five years and this has put a lot of pressure on the US market,” Miele told Current.com.au.
The exchange rate of the Euro to the US Dollar has blown out to 1:1.45, which makes a foray into the US market attractive for the German appliance manufacturer.
The US market has delivered substantial growth for Miele as it increasingly adopts European-styled products including larger capacity front loading washing machines and dryers which have been specifically developed for the market by the company’s German engineers following consumer research into perceived purchasing requirements.
A new line of built-in ovens which have been made to fit larger 30-inch cavities and semi-industrial refrigeration have also been engineered for North American consumers and were on display at the Kitchen & Bathroom show in Las Vegas earlier this year.
Miele told Current.com.au he has ruled out any further factory investment in China where the company only manufactures selected vacuum cleaners.
“For the Chinese products, we are still shipping motors from Germany near Cologne. We make all motors and ship them to China and they are assembled into vacuum cleaners and 90 per cent are shipped to Europe and US. The interesting thing is that the heart is still being manufactured in Germany,” Miele said.
“We are not looking at more products to go to China. Most of our sales are in Europe, between 75 to 80 per cent, so it makes sense to have the factories here. When the trend shifts towards the US or Asia, we would have to look it, however I don’t think that will be the case in the next five years.”