SAN FRANCISCO - At the Nordyne annual Tappan, Frigidaire, and Westinghouse distributor meeting, the announcement of an industry-leading 23-SEER air conditioner was met with cheers from the audience.

The company strategy in the race to the Jan. 23, 2006 deadline for 13-SEER baseline products has been to maximize the differentiation between competing products. The mission was accomplished in the eyes of more than 150 distributors from around the United States and Canada who attended the meeting held Sept. 23-25, in San Francisco.

Drew Fitzgerald, Nordyne vice president of marketing, referred to the announcement as the first stage of the launch of the highest efficiency air conditioner to be available in the market. The full launch of the new FS4BI will take place in the first quarter of 2006.

The product will initially be available in two-, three-, and four-ton sizes, with a five-ton unit scheduled to follow. The five-ton unit will be no larger than the current largest unit from Nordyne.

The theme of the meeting was "Deliver The Power Of The Brands." Nordyne president Dave LaGrand informed the group that after completing the ramping up of new facilities in Poplar Bluff, Mo., and Dyersburg, Tenn., inventory needs are being met and total residential sales growth for the year is exceeding expectations.

Doug Jones, vice president of sales, conveyed the message that strong brands will generate strong interest at a time when competitors are fighting for an advantage in the realm of 13-SEER products.

"You can expect 90 percent to 95 percent of sales to hover around the baseline product after Jan. 23. It's going to be even more important to align oneself with a recognized brand in order to create the needed differentiation that consumers will be looking for in HVAC products."

In the photo above, LaGrand and Jones stand proudly over a new 23-SEER air conditioning unit.

Publication date: 10/10/2005