Haier Group is the name of a Chinese multinational company that creates and manufactures home appliances and a variety of consumer electronics. The company's home base is in Qingdao, Shandong, China. They've grown to become a very successful company, and for a time, they had the world's largest market share in domestic appliances.
The History of Haier
The company, in its current iteration, has been around for a number of years. However, the actual start of the brand began even before the company was an actual entity. Originally, it was a refrigerator factory in the 1920s meant to supply refrigerators to people in China. In 1949, when the country became the People's Republic of China, the government took over the factory and it became part of the state.
It did not actually become a real company until 1984, when it was founded at Qingdao Refrigerator Co., around the same time that China began to open their doors to foreign markets to increase trade. They began looking for overseas partnerships, and they found one with a German refrigerator company called Liebherr. The partnership, along with the influx of new machinery and equipment from Germany, along with new management styles, helped the Chinese company to grow and to become profitable. In fact, after becoming partners with Liebherr, they saw growth of more than 80% per year.
Due to their success, the area government requested that they take over some of the other appliance manufacturers located in the city. This request brought a number of other companies under their umbrella, including Qingdao Air Conditioner Plant, Qingdao Freezer, and Qingdao Electroplating Company.
In 1995, they also bought out their biggest rival in the area, Red Star Electric Appliance Factory. Two years later, they got into the television manufacturing business when they bought Huangshan Electronics Group.
Diversity Was Good for the Company
By adding these different types of businesses and products to their company, it showed them the importance of diversification. They were able to improve the products they made, and they were able to start building other types of appliances and electronics. Because of the diversification, they also decided to change their name, going with Qingdao Haier Group, which they eventually changed to simply Haier Group in 1992. This name comes from the last two syllables of the Chinese translation of Liebherr.
Today, they are making a wide variety of different types of products. While they still concentrate mainly on their white goods, appliances and the like, they have their hands in quite a few other areas as well. Some of the other products they are making currently include air conditioners, computers, microwaves, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, and mobile phones.
As they started to enter more areas, they also began to expand their operations. In 1996, they opened a facility for production in Indonesia. A year later, they opened facilities in Malaysia and in the Philippines. By 2000, they opened a production facility in South Carolina in the United States, as they began to expand their reach to the U.S. market. While they are profitable in the United States, the amount they make pales in comparison to the amount they make in the rest of the world. They are one of the top twenty most trusted brands in India, and that trust and brand recognition is starting to spread to the rest of the world.
They've also expanded to places such as Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, and Tunisia. They bought a factory in Italy, and more. They sell to nearly every part of the world today. At one point, they even bid on buying Maytag Corporation, but eventually Whirlpool won out on that purchase. Recently, they bought the New Zealand company called Fisher & Paykel.
Continuing to Grow
Haier is one of the biggest companies in the world today, but they still do not have the brand recognition of some other brands, at least in the United States. Over the past decade or so, this has started to change somewhat though. The brand is growing, and people are associating the name with quality today, which is helping to strengthen their brand. They are seen in the same light as other quality brands, such as Whirlpool.