Hisense expands globally in production, R&D and product range with Gorenje and ASKO
Less than a year ago, Gorenje became a part of the Hisense Group. But what was the motivation for the move? We put the question to Dr Lan Lin, Executive Vice President of Hisense Group & Chairman of Hisense International.
It was a strategic move. Hisense has been building the brand and the company infrastructure worldwide with Europe and North America being the two most important regions. In Europe, we are strong in the West, with a factory and 5 subsidiaries. But we were relatively weak in Eastern Europe, including Russia. We also didn’t have any home appliance factories locally. Thirdly, Hisense has been strong on TV, refrigeration and air conditioning, but had no other kitchen appliances, like ovens or dishwashers. Combining Hisense’s European operations with Gorenje’s strong position in Eastern Europe, we have a very strong operation covering the entire continent, including East, West, Nordic regions and Russia. We now also have three big factories that can produce most of the appliances locally and the full know- how, patents and technology when it comes to kitchen appliances.
WE WILL FULLY UTILISE ALL THE RESOURCES TO DOUBLE OUR EUROPEAN OPERATION IN THE NEXT THREE TO FIVE YEARS
What does it mean for the future of the Gorenje and ASKO brands?
These brands are now, besides Hisense and Toshiba, among our global brands. Gorenje and ASKO are very popular brands in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe. Gorenje in Europe is a mid to high level brand so that’s another reason we brought Gorenje in our Hisense group. We have very ambitious plans for the future. We are going to maintain the manufacturing activities, expand our Serbian factory and build a new TV factory in Velenje, Slovenia. We will fully utilise all the resources to double our European operation in the next three to five years.
With Gorenje, Hisense also acquired several European production locations. Are the two companies going to be working together on R&D? If so, how and where?
We’ll make our R&D bigger and stronger by supporting our kitchen appliances development globally. We will use the existing 500 engineers to focus on mid- to high level product development, expanding the kitchen R&D part to cover the R&D for China, North America, and so on. This R&D centre in Velenje, Slovenia, is not going to be only for Europe. In the future, it’s going to be the key R&D centre for the global market. Combined with our multimedia R&D, which is located in Germany at this moment, we will really benefit from both. By combining the two businesses we can jointly make our purchasing power much bigger which will further reduce the cost of our product to improve our profitability.
Speaking of development – what are the latest achievements you will be showcasing at IFA 2019? For the first time, you will be presenting Hisense, Gorenje and ASKO brands together.
Our booth will be bigger than the 3 brands’ booths combined when they were separate. We will present some of our new technologies on smart home, home connectivity and IoT, together with Gorenje’s well-known design lines and innovative “Life Simplified” home appliances and the high-level range of appliances marked with Scandinavian perfection under the ASKO brand.
> HALL 6.2, STAND 201
Photo: Dr Lan Lin Executive Vice President of Hisense Group & Chairman of Hisense Internation