[China Refrigeration Network] In 1298, Italy described this in a strange book: "Marco Polo's Travels" written by Italian writer Ruth Tiqian. This book tells what an Italian businessman Marco Polo saw and heard in China, a far eastern country. The mysterious charm of China aroused the enthusiasm of the Italians at that time. Many navigators did not hesitate to fight against the wind and waves in the sea in order to witness this mysterious eastern country with their own eyes. This is the first "China fever" in Italian history.
Times have changed. In 2019, the emerald, which has now become a modern city, has seen a blue ocean. After more than 700 years, the "China fever" is once again popular in Italy. However, unlike over 700 years of infatuation with China's wealth, this time the Italian people are convinced by Chinese brands. Data show that in 2019, Haier Air Conditioning grew 3 times faster in Italy, with revenue increasing by more than 20%, making it the best-selling Chinese air conditioning brand in the Italian market. Haier's blue Logo has become a blue ocean in the emerald green.
European Air Conditioning Market: From Unsold to Out of Stock
In summer, Chinese consumers hide in air-conditioned rooms for the summer, but European people have different habits. As Europe is generally in the middle and high latitudes, the summer temperatures in most areas are pleasant. From the perspective of latitude, Spain and Italy, the lowest latitudes in Europe, are located to the north of Jiangsu, China. Due to the high latitude, the traditional summer temperature in Europe is very pleasant, with the average temperature ranging from 15℃ to 20℃ in most areas, including central London and Paris. Few areas exceed 20℃, and the average temperature in July in Granada, Spain, at the southern end is only 25℃. This has led to a very limited air conditioning installation rate in Europe. According to data from the International Energy Agency, the proportion of households in Europe equipped with air conditioners is less than 5%, while that in Germany is less than 2%.
In addition, unlike Chinese people's taste for white, European white people highly admire the well-tanned beauty of wheat. As a result, many Europeans do not want to stay indoors during the summer. Instead, they go to places with high sunshine radiation, such as beaches in southern France, vineyards in Italy and Aegean Sea in Greece. Therefore, in Europe, many places still use the old-fashioned window machine air conditioner, even without installing air conditioner.
However, with the warming of the climate, this situation has changed. According to NCEP statistics, the average summer temperature in Europe in the 1970s was 18.8℃, while the average summer temperature from 2010 to 2017 was 20.4℃, up 1.6℃. Summer temperatures continue to rise and the economy is picking up. Air conditioning sales in Europe have been rising continuously in recent years, with a compound growth rate of 8.5% in Europe in the past three years. The high temperature weather in Europe is more frequent this year. As a result, air conditioning sales in Europe have surged and many stores are out of stock. IEA believes that the demand for air-conditioning equipment in Europe will grow steadily under the constant global warming trend, and will at least more than double in the next 20 years.
Italian Air Conditioning Market: Difficult to Install and Maintain
Due to its location in southern Europe, most parts of Italy are dominated by Mediterranean climate, with the average summer temperature in most areas exceeding 23℃ and the highest temperature around 30℃. Therefore, Italy with Mediterranean climate is one of the places with the highest demand for air conditioning in Europe. In 2017, Europe, North America and Japan sold 656.0, 1531.5 and 9.744 million air conditioners respectively, of which Italy is one of the most important air conditioning markets in Europe.
In Italy, although the air conditioning market is large, it is also very laborious to buy air conditioning. Grapefruit learned that in Italy, more than 70% of air conditioners are recommended by installers, and locals have become accustomed to buying air conditioners through installers. However, Italy used to have a high labor cost for installing an air conditioner. Installing an ordinary air conditioner would cost about 200 euros (about 1558 yuan). This is also the reason why air conditioners are generally expensive in Europe. In Europe, it takes about 1,000 euros (about 7,000-8,000 RMB) to buy an air conditioner. Moreover, in some parts of western Europe and northern Europe, the installation cost even reaches 1,500 euros (about 11,686 yuan).
In addition, the cleaning and maintenance of the air conditioner is also very troublesome. Many fast food restaurants in Rome charge only 1 euro for coffee or hamburgers and only 3 euros for more expensive ones. However, if a worker is invited to clean the air conditioner at home, he will have to pay about 40 euros per hour. The high maintenance cost also makes the promotion of air conditioning very difficult.
Chinese Air Conditioning Conquers Italy Again
For a long time, Italian and even European markets have been dominated by Japanese, Korean and local air conditioning brands. Daikin, Panasonic, mitsubishi electric, Italian Olimpia Splendid, De'Longhi and French Airwell. Chinese brands have limited popularity in Europe, but leading enterprises are actively entering the European market. Although China exports nearly 10 million air conditioners to Europe every year, the market share of Chinese brands in the European market is limited, with Haier being the only one in the top ranking.
In February this year, Gree started G-Tech air conditioning in the world at the Spanish Refrigeration Exhibition. The air conditioner is easy to disassemble and clean, which can effectively solve the problem of high maintenance cost after sales in Spain. Midea, on the other hand, reached a cooperation with Germany's Bosch in 2015 and acquired 80% of Clivet, a famous Italian air-conditioning company, in 2016, to promote its own air-conditioning brand by joining foreign companies.
Different from other air conditioning brands in China, Haier Air Conditioning has entered the Italian market as an independent brand since 1995. Today, among the more than 20 brands counted by local authorities, Haier Air Conditioning has surpassed 17 international brands and ranks first among China's independent brands in the Italian market.
In order to better integrate into the Italian market and even the European market, Haier has been adjusting its air conditioning strategy according to the local actual market conditions. Taking the Italian market as an example, Italian users are paying more attention to health, and more and more people are paying attention to the problems of clean indoor air and pollution. For this reason, Haier has introduced intelligent self-cleaning air conditioners locally, which not only realizes self-cleaning of air conditioners and eliminates the trouble of professional door-to-door cleaning, but also enables users to quickly complete binding of mobile phones, realize visualization of air quality through intelligent APP and customize individual sleep curves.
In addition, Haier also innovates the products locally according to the key points that determine the installation speed, such as bracket and easy disassembly. It has introduced Flexis series of easy installation air conditioners, saving about 50% of the installation time and 80% of the service time. This type of air conditioner is very popular in the Italian market, with sales growth in professional channels reaching 91%.
Besides Italy, Haier's forward-looking technological innovation, unique air thinking and the hard strength of Chinese brands are also popular in other European markets. The blue Logo of Haier has converged into a vast ocean in the streets of the Republic of Valletta, Malta's capital, the smart community in Moscow, Prague Square, Czech Republic, and Venata, Bulgaria.
China exports tens of millions of air conditioners to Europe every year, and Italy recognizes Haier air conditioners most.
The State Council's "Opinions on Giving Full Play to Brand Leading Role to Promote Upgrade of Supply and Demand Structure" previously issued specifically pointed out that it is necessary to vigorously create a good social atmosphere, actively support the development of independent brands, vigorously promote well-known independent brands and tell a good story of Chinese brands. As far as the air conditioning industry is concerned, the development of independent brands has become the key strategy of major domestic air conditioning manufacturing enterprises. Haier Air Conditioning, as the earliest air conditioning brand with global layout and independent brand creation in European and local markets, will continue to let more global consumers appreciate the charm of "Chinese brand".