Gorenje Growth

Gorenje is now the largest exporter in Slovenia.
They now lead in export value for the first time, In the extremely difficult business environment of 2021, with the covid epidemic, heavily disrupted supply chains, and the soaring cost of logistics, energy, and raw materials, we adapted, persevered, and conquered. In 2021, the manufacturer of white goods Gorenje exported 1.97 billion euros of its products

Gorenje’s Boštjan Pečnik talks Hisense alliance

Boštjan Pečnik, Executive Vice President of manufacturer Gorenje discusses the companies alliance with Hisense and the key developments of the home appliances market ahead of 2022.How has Europe’s major appliance industry fared amid the pandemic?

Following the first half of 2021, there was a positive development in all the European markets. Market demand is still strong in the second half of the year and above our expectations. We expect it to continue during the Christmas period. On the cost side, like all industries, major appliances are also facing a raw material price increase and the growth of logistics and energy costs. Consequently, this is also driving a price increase for the end users. There’s also the challenge of shortages of some materials and components like microprocessors. But I think this price increase will be done step by step and it will not immediately affect performance over the Christmas period.

Which of your recent products have been the most game changing?

In this Covid period, end consumers are searching for appliances that improve convenience. They are looking for appliances that are more environmentally friendly. Therefore, the most interesting ones are those that allow connectivity with smart functions and automation, and also energy efficiency, hygiene and function support. Supporting healthy lifestyles like steam cooking is very interesting. In general sustainability is becoming more and more interesting and important. Legislation in some areas, let’s say it is supporting the launch of sustainable products. But we are also seeing our end consumers really starting to care about sustainability in a positive way. And of course, this is good for our environment.

How have your product lines evolved during the collaboration between Hisense and Gorenje? Has the integration been easy?

We are constantly improving our product competitiveness by adding new products and new product platforms to our product range. We are of course also using product synergies inside Hisense Group, especially in the field of refrigeration and laundry appliances. In 2021 all our main product lines have been growing, which is a good sign. We are aware that good products are key to succeeding on the market and therefore we are increasing investment in R&D. The majority of our integration activities were done in 2019. On the sales side, there’s been the consolidation of sales business units on the European markets, in R&D and product management areas, the implementation of global organisation, and the responsibilities for product development. On the production side, the biggest benefit of this integration has been the integration of global sourcingSo global sourcing has been the main strength of your alliance with Hisense?

It is definitely one of our main strengths. In this time of Covid it has been even more important. In terms of branding, sourcing has been very important. R&D capability is also definitely one of our main strengths, particularly the development of electronics and connectivity. In the field of products, I would also mention our big sized refrigerators, especially for the Gorenje brand, and kitchen appliances for the Hisense brand, because they complement each other’s ranges. On a global scale, we also have new market access and the synergies that come out of that. There’s also our marketing resources and sponsorship of big sporting events like the UEFA Euro 2020 and FIFA World Cup 2022. In terms of branding, we have a clear strategy for the brand portfolio on the global market, and in the field of major domestic appliances, we will further develop Hisense, Gorenje’s brand, and in the premium segment, the ASKO brand.

Are you launching any new products in preparation for the holiday season?

Yes, we are launching a lot of new products. If I start with refrigeration, we will be launching our new wi-fi combi and a retro style combi, our flagship product. Our new laundry products with a refreshed look and improved performance are also important. The biggest novelties are a totally new plug for built-in ovens for the Hisense and Gorenje brands we call Celsius cooking. It’s a premium induction smart cooking ecosystem. That brand will also be launched during this period, and many others will follow in the first quarter of 2022.

Finally, what are your mid-to-long term goals in Europe?

We are improving our position in all product categories and we will continue to strengthen our market position. Our goal is to become one of the leading manufacturers of major appliances and solutions in the global market. And as I mentioned we will further develop our brands Hisense, Gorenje and ASKO.

For more information on Gorenje, click here. Listen to Mr Pečnik’s full IFA Tech Talk, the Official IFA Podcast interview here and also available on:

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Gorenje reinforces its position in Middle East

European home appliance manufacturer Gorenje has announced a long-term strategic partnership with Better Life, a premium specialist home appliance retailer, to further its reach in the UAE.

As part of a long-term commitment to the region, the brand also announced its association as an official partner of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Through the Better Life partnership, Gorenje aims to increase its distribution and service networks as well as create compelling value for its consumers. Products from Gorenje will be available in Better Life e-commerce and retail stores at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, Deira Outlet store, Abu Dhabi Mall and Dalma Mall, among others.

With its ongoing global sporting event partnerships and newly announced official sponsorship announcement with 2022 FIFA World Cup, Gorenje anticipates creating a significant branding impact to further its growth and sales across the region. 

“At Gorenje, we aim to identify partnerships that enable us to stay at the forefront catering to the consumer needs of the industry,” said Jason Ou, Managing Director, Gorenje Gulf. “Today, we are delighted to announce our partnership with Better Life, home to the world’s best brands in kitchen appliances, to further our prospects in UAE – one of the key markets for Gorenje. Partnering with Better Life gives us unrivalled networks and routes to market our products and boost our presence all across UAE.

Hisense Europe group

In 2020, Hisense Europe group generated under two billion euros in sales revenue, of which more than 97% was in the household appliances sector. One billion of the mentioned sales revenues was generated in the markets of Western Europe market, more than 800 million euros in Eastern Europe and the remaining part in the rest of the world. Production company Gorenje generated 1.19 billion euro in sales revenue last year, which is a 42.3% increase compared to 2019.

2020 was the first year of operation within the newly established Hisense Europe Group, which includes all the company production, service, sales companies and subsidiaries in Europe and geographically covers Europe and the CIS region (Central and South-Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the countries of the former Soviet Union). The corporate structure has been simplified, which enables more efficient business management, and business results have significantly improved since the second half of 2020.
«Last year – the comapny explains -was extremely demanding for production. From March to May, when the coronavirus epidemic swept across Europe, orders fell sharply (by as much as 65%), while three to four weeks of production shutdowns at all production sites led to extremely low levels of production and capacity utilization. With timely measures in response to the outbreak of the pandemic and the adjustment of sales strategies, we managed to create new opportunities and quickly increase sales and business volume. We were in close contact with our customers at all times and kept them informed on a daily basis about the state of supply chains in Europe and China».

«Moreover – the company goes on – Slovenia becomes Hisense’s global R&D center for kitchen appliances. Last year, Hisense Europe group invested 42 million euro in research and development activities, of which almost 12 million euro in new product development. By investing in R&D, we are improving the competitiveness of our products to support growth and structural improvement in sales. We increased the number of R&D employees to close to 400. In June 2020, we established Hisense’s global R&D center for the development of kitchen appliances in Velenje, which we are still staffing and employing engineers, graduate engineers and masters in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mechatronics and computer science

Gorenje’s cooking appliances factory produced the millionth cooking appliance this year

On October 19, Gorenje’s cooking appliances factory produced the millionth cooking appliance this year. Never in the history of Gorenje have we reached this annual milestone so quickly, as we usually reached one million manufactured appliances only at the end of December. We donated the jubilee cooking appliance to our colleague Dragica Senić from the galvanising plant.

Orders and consequently production volumes increased after the takeover of Gorenje and the arrival of the new owner Hisense, so that last year we manufactured the millionth device much earlier as usual (in November), and this year, despite a severe crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic when in March we had to shut down factories for three weeks, the millionth cooking appliance was produced as early as October 19th.

“In the spring, we almost gave up hope because of the coronavirus situation, as orders were reduced overnight to practically zero,” says Rok Borovnik from Production Planning at the Cooking appliances factory. “Nevertheless, we picked up quickly, sales secured new orders and based on the good results of increasing productivity and good work of our production workers we immediately made up for the lag and fulfilled our obligations to the Sales department and thus to our customers.”

In August, we received a record amount of orders, for certain types of appliances up to 25% more than last year. From July to August 2020, the quantities increased from 110,000 appliances per month to more than 180,000 appliances and from here only increased further. In September, we reached a record of 184,324 manufactured cooking appliances. As a result, we also manufactured the millionth appliance on October 19, thus setting a new milestone in Gorenje’s production. But we already have new records in sight, as the annual amount of cooking appliances produced (1,373,000) will be the largest so far (last year we produced 1,200,000 appliances). We have already filled our orders by March 2021, which is very encouraging for the future of the cooking appliance factory.

“We donated the millionth appliance – an oven – to our colleague Dragica Senić from the galvanising plant, and this was also a symbolic gesture to show that the galvanising plant is now a part of the cooking appliances factory, not only formally, but is the heart of cooking appliances production. We are all one team and through teamwork we strive to grow and improve results, ”said Jernej Heindl, director of the Cooking Appliances Factory. “We are very proud of the milestone we have reached and we are boldly looking at new, ambitious goals. Congratulations to the entire team of cooking appliances, who with their commitment and dedication in difficult conditions have shown that we can handle even such great challenges. “

Employee Dragica Senić, who was with the help of the union chosen as the recipient of the millionth appliance, has been employed by Gorenje for 36 and a half years, all the time working in the galvanising plant. “Our millionth appliance is definitely going to the right person,” said Zlatko Svečko, head of the galvanising plant Galvana. “Dragica is a trademark of Galvana and with her knowledge, accuracy and diligence is respected in her work environment, and she successfully passes all this on to younger colleagues.”

“I am very proud of our achievement and I am glad that I was chosen for this award, I really did not expect it,” said Dragica Senić. “I have been working at Galvana since 1984, and from the very beginning I have also worked night shifts, Saturdays, I have never refused work. I am proud of my work and of the fact that we managed to set new records this year despite such a difficult situation. ” And what will be the first delicious dish cooked in Dragica’s new 3 in 1 combined oven (convection, steam and microwave oven in one appliance)? »My husband will be able to tell you that, he cooks most of the time, while I do the tidying up,« Dragica laughed.

Hisense and Gorenje committed to protect their staff from the virus

Hisense Europe Group (HEG) management and representatives of trade unions at the plants in Slovenia (Velenje), Serbia (Valjevo) and the Czech Republic (Mariánské údolí) are united and committed to their intention to protect the health of all employees across Europe during the coronavirus pandemic. HEG management and representatives of trade unions at plants in Slovenia, Serbia and the Czech Republic have urged their employees to strictly abide by the preventive measures against spreading of COVID-19 that were imposed to benefit each individual employee as well as the entire company. HEG continues to work closely with healthcare authorities in all countries it operates in, strictly following all the measures imposed by local authorities.

«Our common response to the current pandemic – reads the statement signed by the HEG management and trade unions in all three countries – is the zero-tolerance approach to the violation of prescribed measures. Behaving responsibly is the only way that can help us maintain our health during the pandemic, which is a major challenge the entire world is facing. We have been investing all our efforts in making sure our employees are well-educated about the importance of strict implementation of all measures, both in the plants and outside them. Together, we urge all employees to practice discipline, physical and social distancing even outside the plants, and thus help contain the spreading of the virus.»
The Group ensures that “HEG plants, as well as all other organizational units throughout Europe, have been following strict preventive measures since day one of the pandemic: physical distancing, mandatory use of disinfection barriers, regular disinfecting of hands and work areas, measuring body temperature at the entrance, and wearing protective masks provided by the company. Protective barriers have been installed in all our plants; they prevent physical contact wherever possible, premises are regularly disinfected, and meetings are held online or with mandatory proper physical distancing.”

Hisense’s Velenje factory starts production

Hisense’s Velenje factory starts TV production in January 2021
The management of Hisense Group has confirmed the decision to establish a new TV set factory in Velenje.
The production of this product group will be established within the production site of Hisense Gorenje, in one of the existing production halls and will begin operating in January 2021.

Hisense will cut about 2,200 jobs in Europe by the end of the year

Chinese household appliances maker Hisense will cut about 2,200 jobs in Europe by the end of the year because of a coronavirus-related demand slump, Slovenia-based Hisense Europe said on Thursday.

The company said that March orders were down by a third year on year, by almost two thirds in April and are expected to be down by a quarter in May and June.

Hisense has 9,309 employees in Europe, 5,580 of whom work in Slovenia, with the rest mainly in Serbia and the Czech Republic, the company told Reuters.

It said the number of jobs in Slovenia will be reduced by about 1,000 while roughly 1,200 jobs will be cut in other countries.