Source: Hindustan times

Andy Gu, vice-president of Midea Group at a press conference in New Delhi announcing investment of Rs 800 crore for a manufacturing facility near Pune.(Handout photo)

Placing India high in its scheme of things, Chinese appliance maker Midea on Friday announced a Rs 800 crore investment to set up a manufacturing facility in Pune.

The unit will have a production line for appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and water appliance products. Spread over 43 acres in Pune, the facility will employ 500 people and be operational by 2018-end.

Besides, Midea would also set up an R&D centre, which will develop India specific products, and invest into manufacturing of key components as compressors and water pumps through group’s parts and components divisions GMCC and Welling at Pune.

“India is a key market in our global growth strategy and will be an important manufacturing hub in future,” Andy Gu, Midea Group vice-president, said.

He added: “Our investment is an example of Midea’s belief in the Indian market and reiterates our commitment to Make in India.”

The new facility will also provide export opportunity to the company besides meeting domestic demand. It will have capacity to manufacture 5 lakh refrigerators, 6 lakh washing machines and 10 lakh water appliances.

“We are also going to invest into key component manufacturing as 4 to 5 millions compressors and we are also going to build motors for our appliances, probably 6 millions,” he added.

Midea group’s part and component divisions GMCC, which is world’s one of the largest compressor manufacturers, will invest into the facility.

“This would be part of the Rs 800 crore investment. This would start with for airconditoners but it would also be for refrigerators later,” he added.

On being asked that how the company would establish in the segment which is highly competitive now, Gu said: “The Indian market has huge space for growth as the penetration level in India is very low in appliance segment and we are confident.”

Besides, Midea would explore export opportunities from here although it would primarily focus on the domestic market.

“When we set up a factory, we also look into possibility of export business,” he added.

Founded in 1968 in Guangdong, China, Midea had a sales revenue of nearly $24 billion in 2016. It is a leading global player in consumer appliances, HVAC systems and robotics and industrial automation systems.

In 2012, Midea had formed a joint venture with US-based heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems - Carrier Midea India Private Limited (CMI) and has a pan-India distribution network for air-conditioners.