The Great Wash of China: The Haier Gaea Laundry ComboWasher
In the Chinese market, Haier markets appliances such as this washer / dryer combo unit under the Gaea name. Larger and less tech-heavy compared to the fancy models they're offering for sale in the European market, it's apparently their number one laundry product in China. It may not be as pretty or as elaborate in terms of features as Haier's other display models, but given its similarity to what Americans are used to already, we thought we'd take a closer look.
Tucked away in a corner at the Haier display area, we came across the physically imposing Gaea HWD 80 1427 washer/dryer combination unit. It seems that Haier markets products like this machine under the Gaea name for Chinese markets, and spokespeople from the company claimed this one to be their best seller in China. We have to take their word for it, despite the fact that approximately $2400 price tag equals about three months salary in that country. While it wasn't nearly as flashy as some of the other European models on the show room floor, lacking a see-through door and the heavily-touted ABT technology, this machine was closest in size to what Americans are used to.
Despite the fact that we don't really have much of a market for combination units like this one—at least not at present—its size alone increases the likelihood of Haier transitioning machines of its kind into the American market at some point in the future. It may not be the most elegant of Haier's products, but it had enough interesting features to keep our focus. Since most consumers here are used to buying units separately, however, the company would have to come up with a clever way to market the price: even though it breaks down to about $1200 for a washer and dryer each, even the most logical consumers are bound to suffer some sticker shock with a number that high.