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Re-enter the dragon- China's Haier returns to UK ac market

Chinese ac manufacturer Haier is to re-enter the UK air conditioning market with a direct presence from February 2009.
Haier's initial joint venture into the UK closed in 2006. The firm said that with 'its service and product reliability issues now resolved, Haier is committed to re-launching its brand into the UK and reversing any damage to its reputation within the industry'.

'We're sending a clear challenge to the competition, and we fully intend to upset the status quo,' said Christian Weavers, the sales director heading up the new Haier UK and Ireland team.

He said 'However, we're under no illusions as to the scale of the task ahead. We're aware that product reliability and the closure in 2006 of Haier's initial UK joint venture left many of our customers with an unacceptable lack of support'.

'Our first priority is to rebuild trust by resolving service and backup issues with our former joint venture clients. We'll be honouring all outstanding warranties. 'We now have a warehouse in the South East which stocks spares for all existing equipment, and London and Nottingham-based contractors to cover all areas for technical support and service. Our contractors have been trained on Haier equipment and have full back-up from the Haier team.'

Haier systems now operate on R410A DC inverter technology. The majority of compressors in Haier systems are now manufactured by Daikin, Mitsubishi or Hitachi.

The company is opening an engineer training centre in Wickford, Essex, which it expects will be fully operational by the end of this year. The training centre will have installed Split, Multi-split and VRF systems.

Haier Air Conditioning is sold in more than 20 countries in Europe and employs a 250-strong R&D team with specific on-going research into new air-to-water technology.

Christian Weavers worked as a commissioning engineer before moving to a contracting sales role with Denco. Technical manager Peter Francis owned an air conditioning contracting company, before working as a contracting manager for Denco.

Weavers added 'We're installing systems, incorporating our entire range, at locations around the UK to be used as case studies, and to demonstrate product reliability.

'We've no intention of penetrating into the UK market until confidence is established and potential clients are fully satisfied that Haier represents a cost-effective alternative'.
5 September 2008

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