East Meets West
The Japanese company brought tradition to its U.S. headquarters in North Texas with the breaking of the sake barrel, designated to commemorate the company's future success. East met West later as the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders were present for the evening festivities, held at The City Club, located in the heart of downtown Dallas atop the Bank of America Plaza.
Company officials started off with a bang, and look to continue the momentum.
"We want U.S. customers to experience what the rest of the world has been experiencing for decades," said Yoshinobu Inoue, president of Daikin AC.
"Our advanced three-phase VRVÂ® and single-phase VRV-SÂ® air conditioning solutions are optimized for R-410A refrigerant, while offering individual comfort and control. Inverter technology is the basis behind our current and future product offering to the U.S. market."
Coming To AmericaAccording to Yukiyoshi Okano, president and COO of Daikin Industries, Daikin AC will bring to North America what Daikin Industries has provided for more than 80 years - technologically and aesthetically advanced, energy-efficient air conditioning systems. Okano was present for the occasion, flying in from the parent company's headquarters in Osaka.
"We want to succeed here in America," said Okano through an interpreter.
The company believes that its product reliability and energy efficiency will create a new demand for "more advanced air conditioning equipment." Also, the company is considering the future expansion of its business in North America, including the development of its own duct-type system matching the requirements of the North American market.
In addition to the opening of its national sales office and showroom at the Carrollton headquarters, additional sales offices are being located in major cities including New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Honolulu. A trade advertising campaign and enhanced visibility at industry trade shows are also on tap for the new company.
The company is eager to compete in the North American air conditioning market, which is the world's largest, accounting for approximately 30 percent of world air conditioning demand. In an elaborate slide presentation, Malcolm Sanford, national sales director for VRV, was more than happy to point out applications of the company's products around the world. Meanwhile, Peter Van Booven, sales engineer for Daikin AC, was eager to point out some VRV applications in this country, which include the Christian County Elementary School in Hopkinsville, Ky.
"We are going to target all types of commercial applications," said Sanford during a question-and-answer session with the trade press. He said Daikin will try to fit into the residential market, too, especially the high-end market, working with custom home builders.
"Contractors are looking for a competitive advantage," offered Watkins. "We plan to give them what they want. We are here to provide what their customers want."
Tour And MoreThe celebration included a tour of the facilities. First stop was the history corridor, which noted the landmark accomplishments of Daikin, which boasts a combination of mechanical, electrical, and chemical expertise, as well as "robust research and development capabilities."
Next in line were the product showcase areas. Included in this vicinity were various residential-type rooms, which showed working Daikin products. Among the tour guides was Russell Tavolacci, director of product marketing. Also in the mix was Gary Nettinger, director of national service and training, who pointed out the building's training room.
Among other topics, Nettinger spoke about a VRV system as compared to a central air conditioning system. According to Nettinger, conventional systems air condition a building as a whole, whereas the VRV system air condition each room individually. Hence, it is considered ideal for the constantly changing occupancy of a typical building, he said.
"Even further, precise level control is possible that reacts to the exact conditions in each room," he said. "Individual control promotes a far more economical and efficient system."
According to Nettinger, other advantages of VRV is that this system saves energy, conserves space, operates over a broad temperature range, provides design flexibility, delivers reliability, and the installation process is easier than conventional setup. Daikin also offers an array of different designs, he said.
For the time being, products sold in North America will come from the Daikin Group manufacturing bases in Japan and Thailand. However, production in North America is also under consideration, said Christina Trondsen, marketing manager.
Publication date: 12/19/2005