Miele today introduced dealers and media to new dishwashers, laundry appliances and a coffee machine at its opening day IFA 2013 press conference. These are the appliances the famous German brand will use to consolidate its strong showing in Australia and continue growth in other regions.
Dishwashers is the next stage of Miele’s Generation H 6000 product rollout, unveiling new models to match the same design aesthetic of its ovens, steam cookers, refrigerators, coffee machines and microwaves.
The most notable feature of Miele’s new dishwashers is Knock2Open, a world first on fully integrated dishwashers, according to co-owner Dr Reinhard Zinkann. This feature allows the user to access the dishwasher cavity with a simple knock on the door, which is fingerprint resistant.
In front load washing machines, Zinkann unveiled two new lines in Chrome and White.
“These washing machines share common values: a striking Miele façade on both design lines; greater clarity, more precision and less complexity; and a porthole door is now available on our tumble dryers,” Zinkann said.
The Miele façade Zinkann refers to is the control panel, which although populated by innumerable buttons and controls and a rectangular display, is “less cluttered” and has a “clearer, consistent right-to-left approach” for the user.
“We have done everything we can with the functionality to make it simple to use and intuitive, even though they can do a lot more than their predecessors could.”
When asked if the declines in consumer electronics categories were expected to impact Miele, Dr Zinkann said he did not anticipate such troubles.
“We are not dissatisfied with how the economy is travelling,” he said. “There are some markets that are underperforming, such as Spain, but there are many overseas regions doing very well.
“Televisions all look the same but in whitegoods, the products can be differentiated by technology and design, so we are confident of having another strong 2013 and 2014.”
Around 30 per cent of sales in Miele appliances come from Germany, its strongest region, while more and more sales are expected from Miele’ overseas territories, especially Australia. Local managing director Michael Jeanes would have been pleased to receive special recognition for his subsidiary’s performance during the press conference.
“We can grow in virtually all markets because no other country has the same levels of penetration as Germany,” Zinkann said. “We are particularly strong in Australia, which is our second strongest market after Germany.
“We are also going well in America and Thailand, though we don’t want to reveal any figures.
“Australia is the strongest after Germany, then Switzerland, the United States and the Netherlands.”
This raised the challenge of the Korean and Chinese brands to Miele’s business. Zinkann dead-batted this question, saying that it was fair enough that brands such as LG and Samsung would enter markets.
“The Far Eastern companies are very active here and on the North American markets, but we are active on their markets so it is legitimate that we both do this,” He said. “There is a transition of technology from consumer electronics products to appliances from the East-Asian brands, which adds a level of interest to the category.”
Zinkann then introduced Miele Germany managing director Frank Juttner to continue the presentation.
Juttner said the design motto behind the new laundry appliances was ‘no compromises’. Features include an A+++ energy rating, a minimum 8-kilogram capacity in the range and an improved Honeycomb drum for pre-ironing.
Since the various washing machine brands launched their internal drum shapes — there were also hourglasses and diamonds from other brands — a lot of the heat of this feature has died down. Based on Juttner’s presentation, it appears Miele will be relaunching an education offensive to explain the benefits of its honeycomb drum.
In an update to the automatic detergent dosing feature on Miele’s high-end washers, Juttner showcased ‘TwinDos’ — this is a second repository in the dispensing cavity that can be used for fabric softener, alongside the pre-existing slot for traditional detergent. Juttner said this feature would be exclusive to Miele washing machines.
Miele’s new tumble dryer range includes ‘FragranceDispensing’ to aerate clothes with a pleasant aroma and SteamFinish to gently remove wrinkles and reduce the need for ironing. As with the honeycomb drum, these features will require a strong marketing campaign to truly communicate the benefits to consumers.
Juttner then handed over the microphone to Zinkann’s fellow co-owner Dr Markus Miele, who gave an overview of how the family-owned company is performing.
He said the company had experienced a 3.8 per cent increase in turnover to 3.15 billion euro. Miele expects this growth to continue.
“2013 will see Miele’s greatest ever product offensive,” Dr Miele said, citing the Generation H 6000 kitchen range, new laundry appliance and one new unit that was wheeled onto the stage on a podium covered by a velvet drape.
Dr Miele lifted the veil to reveal the CM6 freestanding fully automatic coffee machine.
Part of the Generation H 6000 range, which is available in stainless steel, black, white and brown, the CM6 can make two cups of coffee with a single touch, through its One Touch for Two feature.
Miele owners Dr Markus Miele and Dr Reinhard Zinkann with the new washing machine and tumble dryer.
The honeycomb drum from the inside of Miele’s new washing machine.