Miele officially launched its new U.S. corporate headquarters building in Princeton, N.J., Tuesday, as it celebrates its 100-year anniversary. The new 31,000-square-foot facility was designed by well-known architect and Princeton resident Michael Graves. It will be used as a product showroom and for training, product testing and corporate offices.
On hand to cut the ceremonial red ribbon was Rudolf Miele, third-generation chairman. The company hosted a dinner for about 200 dealers to celebrate the new building.
Miele, a family-owned German-based manufacturer of high-end vacuum cleaners and appliances, has annual sales of about $2 billion, according to Nick Ord, VP and general manager of U.S. operations. The company has been in the U.S. since 1984 and is growing its presence here, he noted, "in a careful manner. It is most important to have a good product and good service."
"In the past few years, we have experienced growth in the United States in the 27% to 30% range in all product categories," Ord said. While specific numbers are not available because Miele is a family-owned company, it was noted that U.S. sales have doubled since 1995. Ord added that growth during the past five years has been with existing dealers because the company hasn't opened any new markets in that time.
Now Miele is planning to move into new markets. It is opening new showrooms in Boston this fall and in Dallas in January. In addition to the new Princeton showroom/headquarters, the company has showrooms in San Francisco, Chicago, Boca Raton and Beverly Hills.
Although no specific new products were announced yesterday, Ord did say Miele is planning to launch a special limited-edition vacuum cleaner on July 3, the company's actual birthday, for $995.
Also on view in the showroom area were a variety of dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, cooktops and oven hoods. Introduced two months ago, the new oven hoods are available in stainless steel and in 350 different colors. Also shown was a new built-in coffee maker, which is scheduled for introduction in the U.S. later this year for a retail price of about $1,800. The new showroom area also features working models of dishwashers and clothes washers that are enclosed in clear plastic so viewers can see the units' interiors.