China to shake off dodgy label and emerge at the premium end

By Patrick Avenell

QINGDAO, PR CHINA: China will shake off its pejorative manufacturing reputation, and perceived cultural stigmatism, to emerge as premium players in the Australian market, according to Haier president, Asia Pacific, Philip S Carmichael. Furthermore, Carmichael charged the pitch when the question of China’s reputation was delivered, saying that it will be Haier to change the perception.

Speaking to the media at events to mark the opening of Fisher & Paykel’s first Chinese showroom, Carmichael said that Chinese brands, specifically his own, would break through from the chaff, in much the same way Japanese brands did in the early 1990s and Korean brands in the early 2000s.

“Haier’s position in China is not a low brand, we are actually a premium brand,” Carmichael said. “If you follow our strategy, which is to get in, to come into the mainstream, and in our third step, become a premium player, in many markets this you will see us moving into higher end products across the world, not just in Australia and New Zealand.”

To add further chutzpah to this cavalier strokeplay, Carmichael said this emergence will happen sooner rather than later. Once the new product ranges are rolled out, Carmichael is expecting fast and significant cut through. When asked what is targets were, he wasn’t decisive, instead revealing that Haier’s objective is to “grow faster than the marketplace”.

In order to facilitate this growth, Haier will be releasing products specifically targeted to the Australian market. These new products will be supported by Fisher & Paykel’s vast after sales service network. The only exception to this strategy will be air conditioning, which will continue to be distributed by Seeley International.

“Because we are now aligned with a company that offers the same sort of after-sales service that we offer in China, in other words, the best sales and service possible, we believe that with a better product offering, more specific for the Australian marketplace, backed up by our strong research and development, that we will see significant increases in our presence in Australia,” Carmichael said.

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