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Haier Establishes Asian HQ in Japan, Continues 2-Brand Strategy
Feb 20, 2012
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Appliance giant Haier Group will establish its Asian headquarters in Osaka, Japan, along with two R&D centers in Tokyo and Kyoto, and will continue growing the Aqua appliance brand it acquired from Sanyo. Haier said the new sites in Japan now encompass the three key elements of its business - R&D, manufacturing, and marketing.

At a press conference in Tokyo on Feb. 15, 2012, Haier also announced its would continue with a second brand for Japan, Aqua. The brand came to Haier when it purchased Sanyo's washing machine and consumer refrigerator businesses in Japan, in addition to its washing machine, refrigerator, and home appliances businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The brand was developed by Sanyo in 2006 for washing machines for the Japanese market.

Haier expected its sales in Japan to reach 50 billion yen (approx. US$630 million) in 2012, including 35 billion yen in sales of Aqua brand. Haier said it retained the brand's "DNA" intact, including technology and concepts. The brand, originally focused on washing machines, now includes 60 models of washing machines, refrigerators, and other white goods appliances. The brand is targeted at middle-income and high-income Japanese families.

In the Southeast Asian markets, Haier will go to market with a dual brand strategy, using the brand names Haier and Sanyo. The headquarters in Japan will oversee R&D, manufacturing, and marketing across the two regional markets.

"Haier chose Japan as the home for its Asian headquarters because of the country's mature home appliances market and its global leadership position in terms of technological innovation and design," said Du Jingguo, Haier's vice president, at the press conference.

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