Daikin to build air conditioners in U.S.

Kyodo

Starting this year, Daikin Industries Ltd. will produce single-room air conditioners of the type popular in Japan at its Houston plant, company Chairman Noriyuki Inoue said Tuesday.

Daikin acquired the plant operator, Goodman Global Inc., last year. The company will introduce its room-by-room air conditioners into the U.S. market, where less energy efficient central systems that heat and cool entire buildings are common.

By producing its units in the U.S., Daikin hopes to improve its cost competitiveness.

Inoue said at a press conference that Daikin will produce air conditioners for the home from later this year and commercial models from early 2014. The products could be exported to Latin America, he said.

The firm will invest ¥4 billion over three years to boost annual production capacity to about 300,000 units for residential air conditioners and about 40,000 units for commercial products, employing more than 300 workers by March 2016, Inoue said.

Ahead of the U.S. production, Daikin will use Goodman’s sales network to sell air conditioners made in China and Thailand from around April.