Fisher & Paykel displayed its refrigerators in the U.S. for the first time at the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Chicago, IL, U.S. earlier this month, John Bongard, managing director of the Auckland, New Zealand-based company's appliance unit, said.
The company expects to sell "a few thousand" of the refrigerators annually in the U.S., mostly to upscale apartment dwellers in such U.S. areas as Boston, MA, New York City, NY, and Orlando, FL, Mr. Bongard said.
In 2003, the company sold 108,700 appliances in the U.S., its third-largest market after Australia and New Zealand.
Fisher & Paykel in March 2004 extended a global alliance with Whirlpool Corp. to sell one of the New Zealand manufacturer's dishwashers in the U.S. Fisher & Paykel is seeking to trim reliance on New Zealand and Australia, where it gets 76 percent of sales and faces rivalry from LG Group and China-based Qingdao Haier Co.
The refrigerators will probably sell for U.S. $999 (NZ $1,582) to $1,099 in the U.S. compared with about $1,399 Australian dollars (NZ $1,640.47) in Australia and NZ $1,699 to NZ $1,799 in New Zealand, Mr. Bongard said.
The company also expects to sell its first SmartLoad dryer in the U.S. in June for U.S. $799, Mr. Bongard said.
Feedback from retailers at last year's Kitchen and Bath Industry (K/BIS) show prompted Mr. Bongard to double production of the dryers to meet U.S. demand. (Bloomberg)
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