Mumbai: Haier Group, China’s top home appliance maker, is adding a research and development unit to its first manufacturing facility in India as it expands its presence in the fast-growing market.
The plant to make refrigerators, colour televisions and washing machines, was acquired as a part of Haier’s recent purchase of the appliances business of India’s Anchor Daewoo Industries Ltd for an undisclosed sum.
Haier will first make refrigerators at the plant, which is located near the western city of Pune and will employ more than 500 people initially. The plant has a capacity to make 3,50,000 refrigerators annually, about 3,00,000 washing machines and 5,00,000 colour TVs.
Haier will make refrigerators for the local market, and later consider exports for the group, said Pranay Dhabhai, chief operating officer, Haier Appliances (India) Pvt. Ltd.
“India is a key market for our global operations,” he said. “Haier sees India as a strategically important market and we may expand capacities in the next stage,” he said, without specifying. It will also expand its dealer network in India.
India’s Anchor Group held a majority stake in its venture with South Korea’s Daewoo Electronics that had originally been formed to make and sell Daewoo-branded products.
Haier India, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese firm, began operations in 2004, and had been sourcing refrigerators, washing machines and colour televisions from Indian contract manufacturers.