Fisher & Paykel recently revealed its new “DishDrawer Tall” which will be manufactured in Mexico specifically to fit plates big enough for the large meals popular with Americans. F&P managing director John Bongard told analysts and media the new dishwashers, whose top drawer can fit 13 inch plates, would open up a new market for his company.
The new products will target the top end of the home appliance market, which F&P focuses on in the US. Bongard said the dishwashers, expected to hit stores in January, would sell for more than the US$1299 its existing, smaller dishwashers are sold for. F&P plans to introduce them in New Zealand and Australia later in 2009.
Bongard said F&P currently made around 45 percent of all its dishwasher sales in the US where the company generated 29.7 percent of its operating revenue in the March year. That made the US F&P’s second biggest market behind only Australia.
Meanwhile, Bongard said F&P had reined in marketing in the US over recent months as it would be like “throwing money against the wall” in such tough economic times. However, he said the use of F&P products by celebrities such as actress Tori Spelling – in her reality TV show – and talkshow host Oprah Winfrey had helped boost F&P’s profile.
When he briefed US analysts these days there were always three or four in the room who owned F&P products, Bongard added.
“Seven or eight years ago you had to spell the [company’s] second name for them.”