PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico - This year's Nordyne distributor meeting had a simple theme: "Ride The Wave." This is also what the company asked the distributors in attendance to do - ride the wave of success that has been created over the last few years. According to those on hand at the recent event, this wave of success is only going to get larger over time and distributors are going to want to get on board and surf their way to higher profits.

A Company Promise

David J. LaGrande, president and CEO of Nordyne, spoke at the opening session and welcomed over 300 distributors who came out for the weekend of business seminars.

According to LaGrande, the company's basic sales are up 10 percent, with year-to-date sales for the light commercial and residential market up 26 percent. He also reminded the distributors of the goal that was made five years ago, for each to try and grow their business by 15 percent each year.

He explained that those distributors who are able to reach this goal in five years will have doubled their business. So far, many distributors are reaching this goal.

"Today, [Nordyne] is growing because of this commitment made years ago," he said.

He also reported that since making that pledge, the company has seen a 15-percent increase each year.

LaGrande also gave the distributors some news on where the company is heading.

First, Nordyne will begin construction on a new, 365,000-square-foot warehouse in Dyersburg, Tenn. LaGrande said that this facility will help with faster and better shipping deliveries.

Also, in an effort to ensure quicker delivery and manufacturing capability, the company will be available to distributors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Distributors who need parts or support will be able to speak with someone at Nordyne any time of the day.

Finally, LaGrande said that Nordyne will stay firm in its commitment to its distributors. This includes a commitment to keep manufacturing facilities in the United States and to deal only with the distributor and stay out of the business of selling to big box retail stores.

Mammoth News

The biggest news to come out of the meeting was the introduction of a new light commercial product line called Mammoth.

Mammoth will join Nordyne's list of current A/C and heating brands, which include Frigidaire, Westinghouse, Tappan, Maytag, Philco, Gibson, Kelvinator, and Grandaire.

Distributors received a brief overview of the Mammoth line during the opening session. The Mammoth launch is actually a reintroduction of the product line. According to the company, the name recognition for Mammoth should help distributors successfully sell to their customers.

The newest Mammoth products include single packaged gas/electric units, which are available in 3- through 15-ton capacities. The 3- through 10-ton units are currently available for purchase. The 12.5- and 15-ton units will arrive in May 2004. Also currently in production are Mammoth three-phase, high-efficiency split system air conditioners in 3-, 4-, and 5-ton capacities.

New Products

Besides finding out about the Mammoth line, distributors had the opportunity to learn about other product offerings that will be on the way, as well as additions and upgrades to current product lines.

Marc DeLaurent, Nordyne product manager, walked distributors through these new products during the business sessions. DeLaurent outlined some of the newer R-410 products that are available or under development. These products will all be marketed under the Tappan, Frigidaire, and Westinghouse names.

A 15-plus-SEER heat pump with two-stage heating and cooling was just unveiled in September, while a 2-ton model will appear in 2004. The heat pump, like all upcoming R-410A products, will use a Copeland Tech Scroll, an internal TXV metering device in new C4 coils and B4 air handlers, and a Copeland Comfort Alert Diagnostic Module.

Other future R-410A products will include a 16-SEER, 2-ton air conditioner and heat pump, as well as a full line of 12- and 14-SEER air conditioners and heat pumps. DeLaurent said that Nordyne believes that R-410A is the "refrigerant of the future."

DeLaurent announced that the company would roll out 13-SEER packaged units. Gas/electric units with 2-stage heat, 1-stage cooling, and variable-speed blowers are also in development and will arrive in April 2004. "What's driving 13-SEER packaged units are utility rebates and requirements in some states," said DeLaurent.

Service Parts

Francine Fitzgerald, parts sales manager for Nordyne, also introduced the distributors to new products. These products are aimed at helping the service contractor.

Nordyne will begin providing ultraviolet (UV) air purifiers under the Sanuvox brand. According to Fitzgerald, extra training on UV air purification can be obtained through Sanuvox.

The Copeland Comfort Alter will also be available. The product only works on Copeland Scroll compressors and monitors data from that compressor. The alarm will sound when the device records a possible malfunction in the compressor.

Fitzgerald announced that Nordyne will offer its L1 Service Kit. The kit can be used on all L1Ra and L1Rc furnaces, and contains a number of tools including an igniter, flame sensor, pressure switch, control board, transformer, fuse, and gas valve kit.

Caroline David of Five Seasons Comfort Limited (Concord, Ontario) wrapped up the service parts portion of the meeting by giving the distributors tips on how to sell high-efficiency air cleaners to consumers.

"There is less than an 8-percent market saturation for IAQ products," said David.

According to David, consumers are willing to pay for these products when they are presented with the option and with the benefits they can provide. With this in mind, there is a large opportunity for distributors and contractors to sell products like HEPA filtration and UV air purification.

Publication date: 11/10/2003