ATLANTA — A year after Daikin Industries acquired Goodman Global Group Inc., the company is shaking up the U.S. HVAC marketplace. Daikin Industries announced it is launching a residential brand in the U.S. and that the variable-refrigerant flow (VRF) systems will be manufactured in the U.S. for the first time. The company also introduced an exclusive dealer program.

“We are introducing a new line of Daikin residential products that we are launching into the marketplace,” said Dave Swift, CEO of Daikin North America LLC. “The growth and success of the Daikin brand will continue. Homeowners and business owners will be able to enjoy the benefits of the Daikin brand including energy-efficient performance and industry-leading technology.”

The company will now have three distinct product lines — Daikin, Goodman, and Amana — in the U.S. Its strategy is to have three full-line brands that will include both minimum- and higher-SEER products. Daikin is being positioned as the premium brand. The company is offering a differentiated package to dealers in regards to warranty and service.

“The people who become dealers for Daikin are hand selected by us because we expect a higher level of performance on the part of the dealer,” Swift said. “In return, we will give them the opportunity to have a territory that is more selective so they are not competing directly with other Daikin Comfort Pro contractors.”

Training for those contractors began in early November at the first Daikin Dealer meeting and will continue.

The VRV products will be produced in Houston at an existing manufacturing facility, adding about 250 jobs.

“It is a rare occasion when an Asian company acquires an American company, takes its technology from Asia and brings it to the U.S., and creates jobs in the U.S. We are grateful for that opportunity,” Swift said.

The Daikin brand will be advertised using broadcast television and digital marketing, targeting homeowners across North America. The company has committed to advertise more than any of their competitors in the U.S. market.

“That is a key part to what we will be doing to create confidence for the Daikin dealers and also create awareness with consumers,” Swift said.

“We are very proud of achieving many of our goals during the past year, but this is only the beginning,” said Takeshi Ebisu, senior executive officer of Daikin Industries.

“As the Daikin brand becomes more familiar in North America, we believe that customers will respect and request the energy-efficient operation, durability, and excellent reputation that the brand offers.”

Both Ebisu and Swift see a big increase coming in the U.S, estimating 13-15 percent growth in the small mini-split ductless market. They also believe the commercial VRV segment will experience a 30-50 percent growth rate.

Goodman and Amana

“Goodman is a big brand and a big business for us. The brand will continue to be broadly distributed. We are adding some more SKUs to the Goodman line that will enable us to service the needs of our dealers,” Swift said.

“The Amana line continues to be very important to us and it will be a full line as we have added to it. If you are an Amana dealer, you now have the opportunity to use the Amana brand with every customer’s requirements.”

For Daikin and Goodman representatives, they believe the timing is perfect.

“We think it is a very good time to introduce a new brand because the industry is recovering. There is growth. It is a good time to be launching a new brand. If this were three or four years ago it would be tough to justify launching a brand,” Swift said.

Publication date: 11/25/2013 

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