It's been just over a year since Daikin Industries Ltd. purchased Goodman Manufacturing and that merger is beginning to show some very interesting results in the U.S. HVAC industry. The company held a press conference in their newly expanded, 525,000 square-foot residential cooling products and commercial VRV manufacturing facility in Houston on November 7, 2013. David Swift, Goodman CEO, told the gathering of local dignitaries and press that, "Houston’s reputation as the energy capital of North America will need to be compared to its stature as the indoor comfort capital of North America. Houston, as one of the country’s most air conditioned cities, is the perfect location for this honor."
His comments preceded a detailed account of the new capabilities that Daikin is bringing to U.S. soil: namely the manufacturing of residential and commecial ducted and non-ducted equipment as well as their commercial variable refrigerant volume (VRV) product lines.
"By doing this, we're creating more than 250 new jobs in the Houston market," he adds. "This is a rare example of an Asian company creating U.S. jobs."
Takeshi Ebisu, senior executive officer of Daikin, explained that ductless products are now available through all Goodman distributors. Already Daikin commercial products are being produced in Houston and with in a few short months, VRV products will begin rolling off the line – a first for the American HVAC industry.
Both Ebisu and Swift emphasized that the focus of these products is on high efficiency – whether the product is ducted, ductless, or VRV. They said this is only the beginning of the changes being planned.
Gary Clark, the company's senior vice president of marketing added that Daikin's strategy is to provde customers with "Comfort for Life." This means not only introducing a premier Daikin product line that runs from non-ducted equipment through ducted products and VRV systems for both the residential and commercial markets, but also filling out the existing Goodman and Amana lines, providing distributors and contractors with three complete brands from which to choose, based on the needs of their customers.
"The VRV equipment will be targeted to the commecial sector, but there will be some residential applicatons as well," he says. "We see VRV technology being used in hybrid ducted systems sometime in the future."
Clark said that the Daikin Premier line will be backed up with premium warranties and the contractors who will carry these prodcuts will be hand-selected. These contractors will be part of what Clark calls, "The Dealer Comfort Pro" program. They are signing up contractors for this as of this writing.
Specialized marketing and business training programs will be developed to help these contractors be successful in selling this equipment.
"The Daikin-Goodman philosophy is to focus on the HVAC marketplace and be committed to contractors. Daikin, according to Dave Swift, takes that one step further. "They believe in investing in manufacturing in the markets they serve."
For a local perspective, read this Houston Business Journal blog post.