By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Sunbeam will launch its first in-house designed Micro Furnace ceramic fan heater in April, which is the first product released under the sub-brand to be designed exclusively for the Australian market.

The MF2600 (RRP $329) will be the first product in a new generation of Micro Furnace heaters designed by Sunbeam’s own design department and incorporating the patented Micro Furnace ceramic system.

“This product really took about two years in-the-making. We have taken the technology developed by Micro Furnace and did the product design here, so what we have is a product repackaged into one that is even more specific for the Australian market,” said Sunbeam product manager, Adam Tacey.

The MF2600 boasts the Micro Furnace pure ceramic disc heating array, which unlike other ceramic heaters on the market combines six separate ceramic discs with a honeycomb-like structure to create a total heating surface of nine square metres.

Features include an electric temperature control located on the power cord, an LCD with blue backlight, ambient room temperature display, 120 degree oscillation, seven heat settings, auto-off and safety tip-over switch.

Sunbeam has tailored the aesthetics and performance for the local market, instead of repackaging an imported design.

“Australian consumers want the highest wattage possible, and they also like a product that it a bit bigger than do consumers in other regions – it’s just like how many Australians still prefer a big V6 car rather than a compact four-cylinder,” said Tacey.

The ceramic fan heaters category grew 12 per cent last year as the heating market recovered significantly from a poor season in 2005.

See the February issue of Appliance Retailer for a full report.