Haier unveils new washing machine and refrigerator technology to stimulate aggressive share growth

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Haier's new dual drum washer and flexible French Door fridge.

Haier’s new dual drum washer and flexible French Door fridge.

Chinese whitegoods manufacturer Haier has used the 2015 IFA Global Press Conference to showcase new innovations in its washing machine and refrigeration ranges.

Haier markets itself as the world’s number one appliance brand, fuelled mainly by its enormous Chinese business, but it is also growing strongly in western markets, where it has ambitious stated targets. Yannick Fierling, the new CEO of Haier Europe, said Haier aims at cracking into the Top 5 appliance brands in Europe, a market traditionally dominated by local brands like Miele, Bosch and the Whirlpool-owned Indesit brands. Fierling said Haier has grown by 60 per cent since 2010 in Europe and will continue to surge on the back of new releases.

Fierling used his power briefing to unveil three new appliances: two frontload washers and a refrigerator, as well as providing a sneak peak at new technology that will be rolled out in the near future.

On display was Haier’s new dual drum washer, which recently won a Leading Edge design award from iF. Fierling said this tall, futuristic looking laundry appliance enabled users to run two loads concurrently and it is controlled via a new touchscreen user interface that can be replicated on smartphones and tablets for remote operation. “Wash faster, save time and spend more time with your family,” was how Fierling said this washer would be promoted.

A close-up look at Haier's new touchscreen user interface. This screen can be replicated on smartphones and tablets via an app.

A close-up look at Haier’s new touchscreen user interface. This screen can be replicated on smartphones and tablets via an app.

Also revealed was the Intelius 2.0 washing machine, which has a super-large 12-kilogram capacity, Smart Drive motor for silent and precise operation and a 36-centimetre wide drum opening for ease of access. Fierling claimed this will be the largest drum opening on the market when it is released. The outer rim of the door has LED lighting that indicates the progress of the cycle for instinctive and visual user convenience. This model also utilises Haier’s new touchscreen interface.

In refrigeration, Haier revealed a new French Door Fridge with three totally separate cooling systems, enabling users to configure its three compartments to their needs. The top two-thirds of the appliance, accessed through the French Doors, is a refrigerator, while the bottom left compartment is a freezer and the bottom right cavity is a hybrid, with a temperature range of between -20° and 5° Celsius. The ability to choose whether a cavity is a freezer or fridge is an interesting new technology in refrigerators, one seen earlier this year in Samsung’s Kayra range.

A look inside Haier's new hybrid French Door Fridge.

A look inside Haier’s new hybrid French Door Fridge.

Haier also offered a preview of a new refrigerator range it is expected to unveil fully at the IFA show in September. “The first cooling appliance without a motor or compressor for zero vibration, temperature variation and reduced sound,” is how Fierling described these new refrigerators.

Outside of appliances, Haier showcased new smartwatches, though these are not expected to be released in Australia, where the company focuses on home appliances.

The 2015 IFA consumer electronics expo is being held in Berlin 4-9 September 2015.

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