Haier opens Russian factory

Appliance manufacturer Haier has opened a new 24,500sq m factory in Russia.

At an opening ceremony Haier Russia general manager Sun Zhenhua and Haier Europe chief executive Yannick Fierling also announced the creation of an R&D centre in the Naberezhnye Chelny region.

The company has invested US$39.1 million (£26.8m) in the construction of the factory, which is located in the Kama Industrial Park (KIP), Naberezhnye Chelny. It plans to invest a further $15.9m into production development and component purchasing.

“We chose the location of the new factory for a specific reason,” said Mr Zhenhua. “The proactive attitude of the local government, the transparency of the Tatar business industry and the lucrative investment outlook are some key appealing factors for Chinese investors. Secondly, the Tatarstan Republic is one of the leading regions in the country in terms of economic development with a solid production cluster; the Kama Industrial Park being a prime example.”

Localising in Russia is an additional asset for the company as it pursues growth plans throughout Europe.

“The opening of this factory represents a key milestone for Haier Group,” said Mr Fierling. “With this new site, Haier is well positioned to respond to major projects planned in this region and around the globe.

“Haier has already taken up the creation of the R&D centre at Naberezhnye Chelny, in addition to the one based in Nuremberg, Germany – an attestation of our determination to be truly local consumer-focused, responding to growing demands for premium-quality and life-long products.

“This new factory should also allow us to improve productivity and be more proactive towards the European market while meeting shorter deadlines of distribution. Even though our production facility in China could meet most of the European market needs, we still want to be competitive in terms of logistics flexibility; in order to reinforce Haier’s position in a market dominated by other established household electrical appliance manufacturers. For us, the key to successful globalisation is successful localisation and getting closer to target markets and end users.”

The factory in Russia currently employs more than 200 workers and Haier predicts that by 2017 it will have 500 employees, with over 1,200 jobs left to be created through outsourcing.