Cuckoo plans RM100M factory

SOUTH Korea’s home appliance maker, Cuckoo Electronics Co Ltd, plans to build a RM100 million factory in Malaysia to produce water purifier products.

The expansion of its manufacturing to Port Klang, Selangor, will bridge the demand gap due to Southeast Asia’s rapid growth with its huge potential market, apart from trimming transportation cost.

Speaking to reporters at Cuckoo’s 40th Anniversary celebration held from March 4 to Saturday here, its chief executive officer Brian Koo Bon Hak, said: “We’re checking out properties and carrying out a feasibility study”.

He said the company, which ranked No. 1 for rice cooker in South Korea, might build two other factories in Indonesia and India to meet the rising demand.

Currently, it has two plants in Yangsan and Siheung with total production capacity of more than 4.5 million sets annually.

Cuckoo Electronics’ main products include multi-functional electric pressure cooker, electric rice cooker, water purifier, air treatment, induction range and cook ware.

Meanwhile, Koo said the company was targeting US$1.5 billion (RM5.87 billion) in sales this year, from US$760 million last year, by offering more product portfolios and venturing into Vietnam, India and Indonesia in search for new customers.

“We’re adding a lot of productline-up like not only rice cooker and water purifier but also some blender, highly induction range, healthcare and pet care.

“We’ve taken steps to expand from one geographic market to another. We have started Malaysian business since two to three years ago while in Brunei and Singapore last year.

“We are also targeting Indonesia, Vietnam and India. And, we’re also thinking of exploring the United States and China markets, too,” he said.

For its Southeast Asian business, Cuckoo International (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Hoe Kian Choon said he was confident of achieving a sales target of RM500 million for this year from RM208 million last year.

The company will add its Brandstore and Brandkiosk to 600, from only 330 last year, and offer the best quality service to customers.

Hoe said the construction of its new factory in Malaysia at a minimum cost of RM100 million would provide jobs to Malaysians and boost its business operation.–BERNAMA