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A. O. Smith sets up its local manufacturing plant in Bengaluru

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One of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of water heaters worldwide and the number one supplier of water heaters in the U.S., A.O. Smith announced an acquisition of 20 acres of land to set up a 76,000 square foot local manufacturing facility in Harohalli Karnataka Industrial Area in Bengaluru. The manufacturing facility will cater to the growing demand for water heaters that are especially customized to suit the requirements of the Indian market and provide A. O. Smith with the ability to expand its manufacturing operations as volumes grow. Construction is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2010. The plant will initially employ approximately 100 employees.

A. O. Smith is the first U.S. water heater business to enter the India market supplying premium quality residential and commercial water heaters to the markets. They have initially begun operations through their residential water heater business. However the company has set up an exclusive team that will be dedicated to expanding their commercial water heater business in India. The company initially began sales offices in 10 cities across India with Bangalore as its head quarters. Following the customer response to the premium water heaters offered by the company, A. O. Smith is now looking at expanding to newer cities. This is largely due to an aggressive marketing strategy followed by the A. O. Smith India marketing team whose aim is to be one of the leading suppliers of premium water heaters in the state.

 


 

 

A. O. Smith has already acquired market share of over 3 percent in just 4 months of operation, following the launch of its water heaters in September 2008 and aims to increase its market share further and re-enforce its commitment to the Indian market.

A. O. Smith has set a priority for the Indian market even in these recessionary times. India has hugely untapped potential for the water heater market which is slated to be at Rs 450 crores for the organised segment and an even larger market for the unorganised segment.

Commenting on this priority set for the Indian market, Mr David Warren, Vice President, International, A. O. Smith, said “We believe that no other water heater company in the world has the resources and technological know-how that A. O. Smith brings to the Indian market. We offer a portfolio of the best-known and widely respected water heater brands in the world. Our company enjoys a 70-year history of engineering excellence, marked by many breakthrough technologies in water heating.”

He further added, “Our long-term commitment to Indian market is what sets us apart from the other international companies that manufacture water heater in India. A. O. Smith is the first U.S. water heater business to enter the India market and is supplying premium quality residential and commercial water heaters to the markets. The company conducted extensive research before entering the market including consumer focus groups and qualitative studies. The sleek designs and colours of the new A. O. Smith water heating product line are the result of this research and acknowledge the growing importance Indian consumers place on the attractiveness of their bathrooms and fixtures”.

The company’s patented Blue Diamond Glass Lining formula out-performs other glass-lined tanks and therefore offers enhanced protection against premature tank failure caused by hard water commonly found in India. The company will also introduce a glass-coated heating element, which will reduce electricity bills and increase the life of the heating element.

Mr Tamal Chaudhuri, National Sales & Marketing Manager, A. O. Smith India said, “Like other countries experiencing rapid growth and industrialization, India too is facing environmental concerns regarding its development, in particular the issue of energy conservation across industries. Responding to these needs, A. O. Smith will utilize innovative international manufacturing expertise to supply energy efficient water heaters to the India market, which is the need of the hour.”

Commenting on the manufacturing facility in Bengaluru, he added, “We have selected Bengaluru for a number of strategic reasons. The city is centrally located in one of our key target markets in India with a growing middle class interested in premium water heater solutions. Bengaluru has extensive engineering and technical resources with a strong local infrastructure that will support our distribution needs across the country.”

The company currently manufactures co-branded products for Jaquar Company, PLC one of the leading suppliers of the sanitary channels in India. A. O. Smith and Jaquar reached a marketing agreement in July.

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