By James Wells
SYDNEY: Executives including Whirlpool Australia managing director, Mark Poole, and Whirlpool Asia president, Mark Hu, revealed their thoughts on the future of the Maytag business during a trade night for retailers last night in Sydney.
The trade event, which launched a new range of cooktops, ovens, refrigerators and washing machines, is part of a national roadshow to launch a range of European cooking products from the new global leader of whitegoods.
Speaking about the recent $A2.4 billion purchase of Maytag by Whirlpool, Poole said the integration of the two businesses is likely to be complimentary as the two brands occupy separate levels of the whitegoods market.
“Maytag will continue to occupy a quality position, while Whirlpool will compliment the brand with a mid-tier offering. By combining our resources we will be better equipped to serve the needs of our retailers,” Poole said.
“What we don’t want is a loss of confidence through anxiety among retailers. Life is going on and Maytag is a very important part of our family,” said Hu during a short visit to Australia from Shanghai.
“We will be visiting our retailers in Sydney over the next few days and if they have any concerns, we will be addressing them. We are combining our forces and bringing relevancy to our retailers,” he said.
Once the integration process is complete, Whirlpool Australia will control the Maytag, Jenn-Air, Hoover and Amana brands. This will provide Whirlpool’s local division with approximately seven per cent of the Australian major appliance market, trailing Electrolux Home Products, which has almost a third of the market and both Fisher & Paykel and LG with around 10-15 per cent market share.