ATLANTA — Rheem and Fujitsu General Limited today announced a strategic collaboration that will expand the heating and cooling product portfolios of both companies.

Ducted central air conditioning systems account for approximately 90 percent of the U.S. residential HVAC market (source: AHRI). However, in recent years, the demand for ductless cooling systems — pioneered by Japanese manufacturers — has grown in the U.S.

As part of this agreement, Rheem will begin offering ductless mini-split systems manufactured by Fujitsu General to its U.S. customers under the Rheem and Ruud brands. The relationship will expand to other product categories in the future and will further include joint development of products, as well as collaborative operational opportunities. In addition, Fujitsu General will introduce a portfolio of ducted HVAC products, manufactured by Rheem, in its channel.

“In recent years, the demand for ductless mini-split and commercial VRF [variable refrigerant flow] systems has risen dramatically in North America. Rheem is pleased to partner with Fujitsu General a global leader in these categories,” said Mike Branson, vice president and general manager, Rheem Air Conditioning Division. “Our businesses are extremely complementary. We are excited about the potential of this relationship to develop and deliver new and expanded HVAC solutions to the market.”

“This relationship between Fujitsu General and Rheem makes perfect sense. Both Fujitsu General and Rheem are known for market leading, innovative HVAC solutions,” said Hiroyuki Yokoyama, corporate senior vice president, Fujitsu General Limited. “We look forward to beginning our collaboration with Rheem and the value it will provide to all of our customers and the market.”

The companies expect to begin introducing new products in early 2017. Rheem and Fujitsu plan to showcase some of these products at the 2017 AHR Expo, which takes place Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Rheem will exhibit in booth C1336 and Fujitsu will exhibit in booth N10113.

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