Chinese company to build US factory

Updated: 2011-04-08 10:29

By Zhang Lei (China Daily)

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ZHUHAI, Guangdong - China's largest air conditioner maker is planning to build a factory in the United States this year.

Dong Mingzhu, president of Gree Electric Appliances, said negotiations with local business authorities are under way, but would not name the state or city.

All will be revealed when the deal is sealed, she said, but would not give a timeline.

Gree operates eight factories, five in China and one each in Brazil, Pakistan and Vietnam, with the overseas plants contributing 20 percent of its volume.

It chalked up profits of about 4.6 billion yuan ($703 million) on sales of 60 billion yuan in 2010, an increase of 47 percent year-on-year.

Gree also produces air conditioners in China that are sold under different brands for the US market.

Dong said she is prudent about expanding globally. "Our plan to build a factory in the US is purely due to our increasing demand in the US market," she said.

"In the last three years we have been selling our own brand in supermarkets and dealer stores and we've received continuous good feedback from our American customers."

Dong's confidence in the US market is also boosted by Gree's moves in testing solar energy-powered air conditioners.

So far, about 50,000 solar energy air conditioners are being assessed in selected areas in the US.

Dong said Gree, which is listed on the Shenzhen stock market, has no plan to be listed overseas.

Gree kept its global presence low key until last year's World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa where it not only had advertised heavily, but had supplied air conditioners to all the stadiums.

Chen Yongjun, associate dean of the School of Business from Renmin University of China in Beijing, said Gree's US expansion is a sign the company is revving up its gears to catch up on the international market.

"Apparently, Gree's global ambition grows bigger as it cements its leadership in China," Chen said.

China Daily


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