Daikin Airconditioning Central Europe will open a local office in Sofia

InterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2008

Daikin Airconditioning Central Europe will open a local office in Sofia

Dear Mr. Haas, please present Daikin’s business in Bulgaria?

Daikin entered the Bulgarian market in 1994. Gradually we strengthened our position in the Bulgarian market by launching new products and intensifying our dealer network. The main driving forces for our success are very loyal authorized Daikin dealers and boom in the construction industry (hotels, office buildings and shopping malls). Also business environment has changed drastically compared to our starting phase by EU membership and more and more people know who Daikin is. And last but not least an increase of the purchasing power and rising awareness for qualitative products with A energy labeling.

What comprises Daikin’s plans for Bulgaria? Do you have an intention to open a trade office in Bulgaria or you will continue to extend the local sales network?

This is a very good and very important question. Recently the board of directors from Daikin Central Europe has decided to open a local office in Sofia. The reasons for this are rather simple. We want to provide better support for our partners in terms of technical support, literature in local language, etc. Also we want to increase the brand awareness for Daikin and Altherma products in Bulgaria.

Could you tell us more about the various lines of Daikin’s business?

Our business strategy is based on four different pillars:
DX business: Daikin has always been very well-known for its DX products (Split, Sky air, Multi Splits and VRV). In this segment we are gradually going to launch new products in order to increase and strengthen our market position.
Applied Systems: Thanks to the acquisition of Mc Quay we have now a wider product range in this important market segment. Our chillers range from 5 kW up to 9 MW. Topping off the applied system product portfolio we are also offering our new fan coil line, condensers and AHU’s.
Heating: Two years ago we launched our Altherma air to water heat pump system. This is a heat pump, which is affordable for everyone interested, in sustainable heating solutions! Our heat pumps range from 5 to 15 kW, which covers the normal heating load for houses up 200 m2. In times of drastically rising fuel and gas prices all over Europe, Altherma is not only an alternative product – Altherma is even the best solution in terms of investment and running cost. And Altherma is not Daikin’s last step in the heating business. I can promise there will be more interesting innovations in the upcoming years.
Refrigeration: Comparatively new in Daikin’s product range is the Conveni pack. This product makes it possible to connect air conditioning, show-cases and deep freezers to only one outdoor unit with heat recovery function. In the next years this interesting product will also be available on the Bulgarian market.

How would you define your main competition on Bulgarian market? How does Daikin differ from its competitors and what do you feel sets the company apart from the rest?

This differs from product to product. We respect our main competitors very much and carefully keep track of their performance in the market. However, we will always try to be ahead of our competition by launching new and unique products like Ururu Sarara, Round Flow cassette or Conveni pack and implementing new technologies like our single screw technology used in our chillers.

Could you make a comparison among South-East European markets?

I would like to focus on a comparison of Bulgaria and Romania. In Romania there are judge investments in the capital Bucuresti and in other major cities like Timisoara. The investments focus on office buildings’, hotels and shopping malls-however there is very little tourism development neither at the Black Sea cost nor in the mountain area.
Bulgaria on the other hand, has a much longer tourism history on the Black coast. Especially in the last years many new hotels were built and many are still in realization and planning phase. There are also investments made in Sofia and in other major cities but also so many as in Romania.
The residential market in Bulgaria is similar to that in Romania. Furthermore both countries have interesting heat pump markets.

What activities is Daikin pursuing to push the subject of energy efficiency in the residential climate control products and systems?

One major issue for Daikin is the protection of our environment. Therefore the whole Daikin group has the ISO 14001 certificate.
Daikin is an innovative company, which always tries to have units with the highest COP values on the market. I’m very happy to announce that all our air to air heat pump Split system have the energy labeling A. If there were an energy labeling AAA we would already have it!
Improving our efficiency is an ongoing process. Our mother company Daikin Industries in Japan is investing a lot of money in finding the perfect solution for the close future in terms of best reliable refrigerant, energy efficiency and best comfort for our clients. Every year, Daikin presents new and very surprising products and technologies. We are always glad to bring the best solutions also to Bulgaria!