New Zealand based whitegoods manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Appliances Ltd. revealed it will launch a new top-loading clothes dryer in the U.S. soon. The company also announced another milestone, saying appliance sales in the financial year ending March were up 11.5 percent from a year earlier to a record 1-million units.
The new clothes dryer opens at the top, like a washing machine, rather than at the front and can dry a full washing machine load in less than an hour, Fisher & Paykel said in a statement. The new dryer, to be made in New Zealand with a matching washing machine, will go on sale late 2003 in North America at a retail price for the washer and dryer of U.S. $1,400, the company said. The company said the top-opening dryer is a "significant design breakthrough catering to demand at the top end of the United States market." Patent applications have been filed to protect the new technology associated with the dryer, a concept not currently offered by any other manufacturer in the world. A
Auckland-based Fisher & Paykel said its sales of 1 million appliances in a single year was the first time the company had reached that milestone since it was founded nearly 70 years ago. The company said that while it has the bulk of the New Zealand appliance market and more than 20 percent of the Australian market "it is still a relatively small player by world standards." "We are not chasing turnover for the sake of it - we are firmly focused on profitability," said managing director John Bongard. "There are many manufacturers fighting for market share at the bottom end of the market - that's not where we want to be." "Our approach is to drive sales through significant technology advantages developed in New Zealand and protected by more than 400 international patents," said Mr. Bongard. "We want consumers to choose our products because they are the best, not because they are the cheapest." Bongard said the company's development program included updating and refreshing existing product platforms with new features across the company's appliance range. (Reuters)
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