Sub-Zero Group Inc., in Madison, WI will be the exclusive North American distributor of Asko brand appliances made by Slovenia-based Gorenje Group.
The two companies signed a long-term agreement, which makes Sub-Zero the exclusive distributor for Asko washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers in North America as of April 1, 2014.
Gorenje is taking steps to boost its presence beyond Europe and drive sales of up market brands. It is leveraging the premium Asko brand, in particular, to build its global presence.
Key markets for the Asko brand are Scandinavia, where the brand originated, as well as Australia and the United States. Asko has been available in the U.S. since 1987.
Gorenje acquired 100% ownership of Asko Appliances Group in 2010 from now-defunct appliance OEM Antonio Merloni S.p.A. During 2012 and 2013, Asko manufacturing operations in Sweden and Finland was transferred to Gorenje facilities in Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Plans call for Asko R&D, brand management, and marketing operations to remain in Vara, Sweden.
"Currently, 92% of our revenue is generated in Europe; however, we are looking to expand our global presence and we believe that long-term cooperation with the Sub-Zero Group Inc. will help us accomplish this," said Gorenje President and CEO Franjo Bobinac.
"Both companies were started some six decades ago by entrepreneurs with a vision for quality, performance and design. So we share a rich heritage and very similar values with Asko," explained Jim Bakke, president and CEO of Sub-Zero Group. "The Asko products are built like professional appliances with timeless design, top-notch and lasting performance and innovative features. So I am pleased that we can offer this respected brand within our excellent and high-performing sales and service channels."
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