Will Gree stir up the air conditioning industry again

After ten years of maintenance, Dong Mingzhu and Gree air conditioner took the initiative again. “What we call” warranty repair “is completely free for consumers.” On March 7, the relevant person in charge of Gree Electric responded to the reporter of Beijing business daily. Extending the warranty period undoubtedly means increasing the cost, but the effect is still unknown. With the change of market structure, can Gree still stir up the whole air conditioning industry with its previous influence?

Service life covered by warranty

According to the announcement issued by Gree Electric, in order to further implement the concept of high-quality development and promote the technological innovation and service upgrading of the home appliance industry, Gree Electric decided to provide ten-year free repair service for the household air conditioners sold from March 1, 2021, and provide old for new service for old users. Old users who log in to the official website of Gree dongmingzhu store to participate in the trade in activity can enjoy a maximum subsidy of 380 yuan / set.

The Beijing Business Daily reporter consulted the customer service at the official flagship store of Gree Electric appliances in tmall mall on the issue of “ten-year warranty”. The customer service replied that the quality of the products purchased from Gree flagship store is not good, and the whole machine has indeed been upgraded to ten-year warranty free of charge, including compressor, all kinds of fan motors, main control board, receiver, temperature controller and remote controller One.

After that, the reporter of Beijing business daily consulted the customer service of Midea and the official flagship store of Oakes about the warranty period in tmall mall. Midea customer service said that the warranty period of the brand’s air conditioning products is six years, and Oakes said that the warranty period of the brand’s air conditioning products is six years.

It should be noted that there is no specific distinction between warranty and repair in consumer protection law and other relevant laws and regulations. It is widely believed in the industry that “guaranteed repair” means that during the period of guaranteed repair, the purchased goods can be repaired without paying any fees. “Warranty” is interpreted in the modern Chinese dictionary as “factory or shop repairs some goods sold free of charge within the specified time.” It can be seen that the meaning of “warranty” is also free of charge.

As for the reason of providing ten-year warranty, the relevant person in charge of Gree Electric told Beijing Business Daily: “before the promulgation of the” safe service life of household appliances “, it was clear that the safe service life of household air conditioners was ten years. Then we launched the” ten-year warranty policy “, which is equivalent to a comprehensive after-sales service guarantee for the whole” life cycle “of an air conditioner from purchase to” retirement ” Obstacles. It’s mainly from the perspective of convenience for consumers, and what we call “guaranteed repair” is completely free for consumers. “

Will the service war work

Beijing Business Daily reporter learned that the current general service standard for air-conditioning enterprises is six-year free repair. In other words, if the six-year warranty period is directly increased to 10 years, it is bound to increase a lot of service costs. Why is Gree willing to invest so much money to carry out the reform?

Xu Yiqiang, a home appliance observer, believes that since last year, the cost of raw materials for air conditioning has risen, and the retail price of the terminal has risen. Gree’s move is more in the context of the lack of competition in price war, new product war, and promotion war, hoping to restart the service war and maintain the competitiveness of the enterprise in the terminal market. At the same time, for air conditioning enterprises, there are many means to participate in the market competition, In the context of the lack of obvious differentiation advantages in products, technology and marketing, service is generally chosen as a breakthrough.

Industry observer Hong Shibin also pointed out that Gree’s sudden announcement of extending the warranty period is actually a product promotion measure. The reason is that the current sales situation of air conditioners is not satisfactory, and other air conditioning brands have also caused great pressure on Gree.

“In fact, ten-year warranty repair is no stranger to the air-conditioning industry. Ten years ago and 20 years ago, many enterprises made similar service commitments, which did not play a direct role in promoting market sales. However, it will still have an impact on the air-conditioning industry, which will undoubtedly increase the operating costs of enterprises in disguised form. Especially when the air conditioner has been used for six or seven years, or even eight or nine years, the maintenance probability is obviously higher, and then the cost growth will increase. ” Xu Yiqiang said.

Do other enterprises follow

In the past two years, Gree Electric often launched “attacks” in the market by surprise, and sometimes even triggered the whole industry to follow suit.

On the eve of the “double 11” in 2019, Gree Electric announced that it would make a profit of 3 billion yuan to crack down on low-quality and shoddy products during the “double 11” period. After the event, it would return to the original price immediately. At that time, the price reduction was so strong that it was rare for Gree. For each air conditioner, it would make a profit of several hundred yuan at least, but it would reach 2000 yuan at most.

Interestingly, after Gree announced the price reduction, Midea, Haier, aux and other brands also followed up the price reduction measures, and they made a big profit one after another, fighting a price war.

So this time, will Gree Electric’s reform in service cause the industry to follow suit again? The relevant person in charge of aux told Beijing Business Daily that there is no plan to follow up at present.

“Price reduction and service extension are two dimensions of competition. Price reduction is to directly reduce the existing profit space of enterprises, while service extension is to overdraw the future profit space of enterprises. But it is very difficult to attract users’ demand quickly, and it will increase unpredictable cost and pressure to the succeeding operation team of the enterprise later. ” According to Xu Yiqiang, the current service standard for air-conditioning enterprises is six-year free repair, which has been able to meet the needs of users, and then from six years to ten years, the direct effect is not obvious.

Hong Shibin also pointed out that the extension of warranty period and product price reduction are not the same, and other competitors may not follow up. “Now Gree’s market position is not as stable as it was a few years ago, and it is also greatly impacted by other brands, so its influence in the industry is not necessarily so big.”.

At present, consumers have different opinions on extending the warranty period of Gree Electric appliances. Some consumers are happy to see the success of this measure: “I hope all industries can learn from Gree and extend the warranty period to prove that they have confidence in their products.” Some consumers also questioned: “who sells Gree and who does after-sales work? After sales work is done by dealers at a premium. Now physical dealers are facing pressure from all sides and their profits are declining. I hope it is not the last straw to crush the dealers in exclusive stores.”

Beijing Business Daily reporter Shi Feiyue

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