Panasonic Corp. (Osaka, Japan) acquired a minority interest in appliance maker Gorenje Group, based in Velenje, Slovenia, as part of a new long-term strategic alliance between the two companies.
The alliance is structured on two pillars. One is joint R&D and the sharing of manufacturing platforms in product categories such as washing machines, refrigerators, and built-in ovens. The second is the sharing of sales networks and marketing know-how for appliance distribution throughout Europe.
The first undertakings under the alliance will include the joint Gorenje/Panasonic development of next-generation washing machines for the EU market. In addition, Gorenje will start production of Panasonic-brand refrigerators for distribution in the EU, Russian, and other CIS markets. Finally, the companies will begin joint distribution of some Panasonic brand built-in kitchen appliances in Europe and Gorenje will begin production of built-in ovens.
Panasonic has been taking steps in recent years to expand its presence in the European appliance market.
Franjo Bobinac, Gorenje President and CEO, said Gorenje was still committed to its stand-alone long-term vision. He added that the company has "an in-depth knowledge of the European market and its consumers, and fosters a focus on design, innovation, and quality. Synergies in design, manufacturing, and sales will yield benefits for both enterprises."
"By combining our complementary product and manufacturing technologies, sales channels and marketing expertise, we look forward to bringing advanced, smart and ecologically responsible appliances to consumers across Europe, including Russia, in the coming years," said Laurent Abadie, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Europe.
to Daily News