SALT LAKE CITY — Without a lot of fanfare, residential appliance giant General Electric is making a foray into the RV OEM market and has a booth at the RVX show displaying its RV air conditioners, heat pumps, multifunction microwaves and residential style refrigerators.
Marketing Manager Brigitte Mader-Urschel said GE is entering the market while RVing is on an upswing, but that after 114 years of engineering and manufacturing appliances it seemed like a natural next step for the company to take.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity that somehow escapes me why we haven’t looked at this in the past,” she said. “We want to couple the tremendous expertise that GE has in designing extremely reliable appliances and air conditioners and apply it to the unique needs for the mobile living market. This is a first step for us, launching the air conditioners.”
By the third quarter of 2019, Mader-Urschel said GE expects, through a partnership with Illinois-based Midwest Sales & Service, to be ready to offer both rooftop air conditioners and separate heat pumps for RVs. The air conditioners will be available for both ducted and non-ducted applications and offer 13,500 and 15,000 BTU models.
“We have a tremendous team of highly skilled engineers who know how to make great products,” she said. “We have 13,000 employees in the U.S. and we sent out a survey to our employees and found out we have a lot of people who are hard-core RVers. They were very excited we are doing this.”
Midwest currently is offering a suite of kitchen appliances from GE—the Advantium four-in-one microwave/oven, two residential-style refrigerators and a water filtration system—that are available in select Newmar and Fleetwood motorhomes.
Heath Wechter, executive vice president of Midwest, said all of the products will be ready for general release by January 2020. The two companies have partnered in other areas for more than 10 years, but are now joining efforts to promote the entry into the RV segment.
For more information, visit mwss-inc.com.