Other attempts to innovate are also on the company's radar. Haier is partnering with Hydromatic Technologies, a start-up company in Florida that is the brainchild of former appliance repairman Michael Brown, who is developing an energy-efficient dryer based on hydronic technology. If all goes well, Haier will introduce a hydronic dryer next year.
For appliances, higher-end brands are the fastest growing. And it’s where consumers will, on average, spend more discretionary income. For Haier, this represents both an opportunity and a challenge.
Rick Bellows, merchandising director, appliances, for MEGA Group USA, said a lot of vendors want a piece of the high-end market. “The high-end business is a good category right now,” he said. “It might get over-saturated because everyone is trying to get in on it.”