After showing off appliances on its stand at the 2014 International CES and talking up the future of the “Cloud Home”, TCL has revealed that it will launch whitegoods into the Australian market in 2014. The news will see the Australian subsidiary add to its existing range of flat panel TVs, including new Ultra High Definition and LED TV models which will also hit Australia this year.
Speaking to Appliance Retailer, TCL Electronics Australia national sales manager Nick Redmond said the brand had found success in the Australian market with its panel range, and that “the next step is for the customer to have a TCL home”.
While full details are yet to be confirmed, the new range will include refrigeration and washing machines, as well as the potential for dryers which Redmond is “actively pushing for”. Redmond also hinted that there was a “great opportunity” to launch air conditioners in the Australian market [TCL air conditioning was previously distributed by Castel Electronics], but this is not yet confirmed for 2014.
With talk of smart appliances making big waves at CES, Redmond was also focused on the future potential for smart TCL appliances that join together in what he called the “Cloud Home”. However, he said TCL’s focus was on connectivity that benefits the consumer’s life in real ways.
“How important is all of this interactive technology, and what does it mean to the customer? Do you really want to know that your iron is left on? Or, would it be more advantageous if we partnered with someone like a utilities company that was able to integrate when your washing machine turns on because that’s the cheapest power time?
“TCL’s commitment to cloud and integrated technology is fantastic. We do have that ability to bring it to the Australian market, but for me in 2014, I really want to invest in how this integrated technology will actually fit a real-life environment.”
In China, TCL recently invested US $4.4 billion in a new whitegoods park near Shanghai, and the brand is shifting its focus from OEM operations to “controlling the manufacturing from start to finish”.
In Australia, TCL is also “actively putting stands in stores” to tell the TCL TV story and to bring the name to the customer. But with the addition of whitegoods to the TCL product line-up, Redmond is setting his sights even higher.
“To be able to tell that whole range story in the Australian market is very important to us,” he said. “I really want us to be seen as a clear tier two alternative, and the only way to do that…is to really let the market know about TCL as a global home electronics brand.
“I want the brand name to be known within the Australian market. I want people to be comfortable with those three letters.”