Fisher & Paykel, the New Zealand-based appliance company that was acquired by China's Haier last year, is in "expansion mode," according to a statement from Managing Director and CEO Stuart Broadhurst. This will include, in 2013, the largest single product launch in F&P's history.
Haier, Broadhurst said, is creating opportunities to accelerate the growth of the Fisher & Paykel brand. The focus of development is on technology innovation, new product development, and the F&P component and technology business.
"Our unique expertise and premium product positioning is what Haier is investing in, and the Group wants that to remain New Zealand-led," Broadhurst said. "This means we will be expanding the Fisher & Paykel brand both locally and globally, giving people greater visibility of our product ranges, the kiwi technology behind them, and how they can make our lives easier."
He said that F&P remains a "standalone company" and still has a strong management team based in New Zealand. Haier, he said, is helping the company execute its business development plan faster than had been planned.
"Growth is planned across New Zealand in the next 24 months as we will recruit for 100 research and development positions to Fisher & Paykel across our Auckland and Dunedin operations, as well as further job creation in other areas of the company," Broadhurst said. "This expansion of specialist skills will entrench our company's expertise, enabling us to continue to deliver the world-leading innovation we are known for, with continued emphasis on quality."
He said that, in the coming months, Fisher & Paykel will release the largest number of new products ever launched at one time in the 79-year history of the company. The launch will include new refrigeration appliances, cooktops, and laundry appliances, as well as a new oven platform.
Broadhurst said, "As well as local brand expansion, our focus has always been to continue to develop the Fisher & Paykel and DCS brands in New Zealand, Australia and North America, as well as boosting our presence in the emerging markets of China and India. It is important to note that we are designing the new Fisher & Paykel products for these markets from our New Zealand base."
Broadhurst said that, on a recent trip to China, he finalized several new agreements for "significant projects" to be undertaken by F&P's New Zealand-based production machinery business to automate production facilities over the next five years. F&P's production machinery business grew out of its internal appliance and motor production automation initiatives.
Another area of internally developed expertise is in appliance motor design and manufacturing. Broadhurst said F&P's motor design capability and motor production capacity will be expanded to meet increasing demand from Haier and to supply third party customers.
"Haier has designated New Zealand as one of its five global research and development centers of excellence for the Group," Broadhurst said. "We join other global centers in Japan, Germany and China, but Fisher & Paykel's center will stay in New Zealand."
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