Haier Europe looks to be consumers first choice and cut carbon footprint
An exclusive Interview with Yannick Fierling, CEO of Europe at Haier Europe
Despite navigating many crises, household appliance giant Haier Europe has been able to consistently grow over the past few years by innovating where it matters. CEO of Europe Yannick Fierling sat down to discuss the industry at large, the importance of the end consumer and the company’s upcoming presentation at IFA 2022 in Berlin this September.
How have you seen the household appliances industry fare during 2022?
First of all, we are just coming out of an incredible period with Covid and now we are facing a considerable increase in raw material inflation rates. Container costs have also been rising significantly in the last two years and now I think we are in the middle of a market contraction across Europe, the same contraction which we are seeing across the industry worldwide.
These have been three challenging years, but out of a crisis comes a lot of opportunity as well. I think the world has been rapidly changing, especially when it comes to topics like intelligent manufacturing, artificial intelligence, smart homes […] an amazing accelerator in terms of connectivity and getting our homes smarter.
We are certainly very much looking forward to being with all our partners and customers at IFA 2022 in Berlin during the month of September.
You mention smart technology, how are you adapting to this? What do you see the future bearing?
But for Haier’s worldwide and regional branches, it is not something new. Our vision has always been to be the consumer’s first choice for smart homes, not only in the region, but across the globe, and we have received much recognition for that.
Today we have more than 40% market share for connected products, and this will rise to 100% of our products in the future. We are speaking with one another as well as third parties to create an ecosystem around the product.
Our aim is really to move from basically selling a product to selling an experience to the end consumer. It is all about IoT, ecosystems and offering something which is very different from just washing your clothes or cleaning your dishes.
Many companies are looking at ways to reduce carbon footprint in today’s climate. How are you tackling this at Haier?
Sustainability is something which is one of our pillars and like everybody else we are working on reducing our carbon footprint. We have plenty of KPIs to reach with very clear goals in order to achieve carbon neutrality in the coming years.
We are also looking at what makes us different to the competition. I think the fact that our appliances are connected will offer great opportunities in terms of durability and reliability. Exactly like your phone, for instance, we will be able to upgrade and update any software we have in our appliances, making them more durable in the future. We will also be able to predict failures for connectivity and run a diagnostic.
We have put forward a very strong agenda for 2030 in terms of sustainability and social responsibility. We have a full programme on it, and it is certainly one of the investment channels, because our environment is what is most precious to us all.
You mentioned it earlier, IFA is getting closer, taking place from September 2nd to the 6th this year, I’d love to get your thoughts on what you’re excited to see and if there is anything in the pipeline for Haier that we should be watching out for?
Every single year since we have been participating in IFA, we have been growing our space. We have been trying to present different products and novelties. We have been accelerating the pace of our launches and we will be showing outstanding solutions in terms of artificial intelligence, IoT, smart homes, new products and quite lot of innovation, so we’re very much looking forward to that
We have been introducing what we are calling Haier Europe Open Enterprise, where we try to see ourselves as a brand of start-ups working with other start-ups, and trying to cooperate with a lot of third parties around us. This is a major announcement we made a few weeks ago and we will of course be extending this announcement at IFA.
Focus on end consumer in place of regional demand
When asked about the strongest territories for demand of its products, Fierling was keen to emphasise the company’s focus on the end consumer rather than regional demand.
“In terms of focus, our thinking is not about territories, it is really about the end consumer. [Unlike] other companies and other markets, what we are aiming for is really to give the end consumer a customised solution for their home”, Fierling said.
“It is not so much about the territory, it is much more about our business model and how we are growing across the region”.
Haier Europe enjoys high growth rate thanks to intelligent strategy
In the interview Fierling noted that Haier Europe has enjoyed a growth rate above 20% over the last few years. The CEO of Europe claimed this was due to a strong multi-branch strategy, along with other drivers. He said that his team had observed market contractions across Europe, but that despite this, the company had continued to grow.
“I am absolutely convinced that we do have product leadership in terms of quality here, and as I am used to saying, there is nothing without people. We have been hiring some of the best subject matter experts and visionaries in our field and I think we are building a very strong team across Europe”, he said.
Meet Haier at IFA Home & Entertaintment: Hall 7.2a | 101
Meet Haier Group at IFA Household Appliances: Hall 3.1 | 101