By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: Electrolux and Sharp Corporation have entered into a collaborative partnership to develop a new range of six different environmentally friendly, energy saving small and mid-size frost-free refrigerators.

According to Electrolux business category director – refrigeration and air conditioning, Mike Tinkler, the agreement follows an existing relationship between the two companies to manufacture microwaves in Europe.

The partnership will include the mutual exchange of information and consumer research, as well as a product and technical development understanding which sees the sharing of tasks on product planning, production and assessment.

The long-term aim of the partnership will be to offer consumers innovative products, generate lower manufacturing and purchasing costs and improve speed to market.

“Our two companies have different strengths,” said Sharp president, Katsuhiko Machida.

“Sharp is leading one-of-a-kind technology in environment and health, and Electrolux is leading in consumer research and the product development process. This combination is unique and will deliver new, exciting solutions in the major appliances area, as each company leverages the strengths of the other.”

Electrolux President and CEO Hans Straberg believes the partnership is a unique model of collaboration between two companies who are, at least partly, competitors.

“We have built an openness where we share product plans and technologies from which both companies can benefit.

The collaboration is clearly in line with the innovation strategy of Electrolux,” he said.