Industry

Liebherr invests ₹500 cr. in fridge-making facility

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Committing funds in India for long term: Roman Schafer

Liebherr-Hausgerate Ochsenhausen GmbH, one of Germany’s biggest manufacturers of refrigerators, has invested ₹500 crore in a factory at Aurangabad, underscoring its intentions to be a long term player in this market, a top official said.

“We have done some in-depth investigation to decide on the right country to set up the factory,” Roman Schafer, managing director, sales, Liebherr-Hausgerate Ochsenhausen GmbH, said in an interview.

“After checking business opportunities, general framework, we have decided to choose India for some specific reasons,” he added. The company, after extensive research of the local market and understanding the consumer needs, has introduced products in the price band of ₹22,000 to ₹1.5 lakh.

To be made available in top 50 cities in India, the products are targeted at the mass premium segment. India is the first country outside Europe where Liebherr has set up a factory of this size.

‘Huge sales potential’

“Here, the number of competitors are limited. Though some players are dominating, we feel there is an opportunity here. Market saturation is still at a very low level. So, sales potential is very huge,” he said.

“The general business environment to set up FDI project is very positive. So, we felt [that] this is the country where we want to be. And we have decided to invest for the long term,” he noted.

Focussing on what is not provided by the existing brands, Liebherr had decided to provide something which is suitable to the end consumer.

The company engaged Indian design team to develop India specific product.

“ It is German technology designed by Indian designers. We are very confident that we are offering a product which is perfect to Indian consumer’s needs,” said Gunther Sproll, Marketing Manager, Liebherr.

In the first phase, the facility at Aurangabad can manufacture upto 5 lakh appliances which the company plans to achieve in two to three year. The facility over 50 acres land has space to triple the capacity.

Liebherr top executives said that in terms of volume India will be their biggest and most important country globally.

“ We are focusing on the utility front. Our design approach is different than the existing ones. It is a combination of European design approach and local interior. We have focused on space management,” said Radhakrishna Somayaji, chief sales officer, Liebherr Appliances India.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 7:50:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/liebherr-invests-500-cr-in-fridge-making-facility/article24255473.ece

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