Josef Asböck : 125 years of Miele still stands for quality and sustainability

The whole 2024 will be a celebration year in which we will continuously expand our 125th anniversary offers but also introduce new and attractive products.

I can proudly say that these values we continue to improve homes and lives of our customers with exclusive designs, convenient features, and smart appliances.​ And our anniversary is a great occasion to (re)tell the corporate narrative. In doing so, we not only want to look at the past with a fresh eye, but also discuss visions for the future, for Diplomacy&Commerce says Mr. Josef Asböck Commercial Director Miele Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Because pushing the boundaries of our imagination instead of accepting the status quo is what we have done over the past 125 years and will continue to do in the next century.

  1. Since the development and delivery of your first milk centrifuge in 1899, your philosophy and passion have remained the same to this day. What do you have to say to potential and regular fans of your products? What are you preparing for the companies’ 125th birthday?

We are very excited to celebrate our jubilee together with our customers by launching more than 80 anniversary models across all product groups worldwide. Our Jubilee collection consist of attractive campaign models, customer service offers as well as digital highlights, in two different promotional ranges. The 125 Edition comprises models with attractive feature sets at an attractive price point and/or with free accessories. All models are also connectivity-enabled with the Miele@Home solution and are tested to last for 20 years. The anniversary models from the 125 Gala Edition also offer considerable benefits in terms of features and accessories. Across all products, an exclusive 125-week extended warranty applies to all 125 Gala Edition models. This applies in addition to the statutory 2-year guarantee. Hence, in total, guarantee cover on these anniversary models amounts to the 2-year guarantee plus an additional 125 weeks.


2. How do you evaluate the business climate in Croatia, and what do you think should be improved, and what would you highlight as good practice?

Croatia plays an important role in the economic and political framework of Southeast Europe. The optimism of the business community in Croatia is increasing, there are also noticeable positive developments in numerous business segments, but systematic reforms are still needed, especially around the judiciary and complex administrative procedures. The Croatian government has taken positive steps to improve the business climate, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digitalization efforts, which has helped decrease excessive bureaucratic procedures for both citizens and companies. Government reforms also seek to liberalize the services market, diversify capital markets, and improve access to alternative financing, and reform tax incentives for research and development.  The recent accession of Croatia to the EURO and Schengen areas is a major milestone for trade and investment. Reduced cost, removal of travel, trade and investment frictions will contribute positively to the country’s economic performance.

3. Croatia is one of the markets for which you are responsible. There are also Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. What would you point out as the biggest difference between the mentioned markets?

When we talk about Croatia and Slovenia – which are members of the European Union, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, we must be aware that these three countries are different regarding to their socioeconomic level . The purchasing power has a high say when a consumer, a family, has to think about their basic living expenses. Miele quality is well known and interest for our appliances is high, especially in Croatia and Slovenia, which markets are growing steadily especially last years in Croatia – throughout all product categories. In Bosnia and Herzegovina there are a few hot spots which stand above like Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka so the potential is there.


4. As a German brand, you are synonym for quality. How demanding are consumers and how much do they know and follow all the novelties that appear on the market in all the segments you cover, especially in conditions of inflation after the Euro introduction?

The market for high-end appliances, caters to consumers who seek superior performance, advanced features, and exquisite aesthetics in their appliances. This market is continuously innovated and technologically advanced. We as premium appliance manufacturer are investing heavily in research and development to create cutting-edge products to meet the demands of our consumers. These innovations often include smart home integration, allowing appliances to be controlled through smartphones or virtual assistants. High-end consumers increasingly value machines with IoT capabilities, enabling them to remotely monitor and control their household appliances. Our consumers value the nationwide Miele After Sales Service. When you buy a Miele appliance, you choose longevity and the best quality. If, however, help is required, Miele Service can provide rapid and reliable assistance everywhere in Croatia. This is unique in our industry an appreciated by our demanding consumers. As mentioned, Croatian market shows growth in all categories despite the inflation after the Euro introduction, the war in Ukraine and the global energy crisis, and with steady growth of our company in Croatia since then, I can with certainty say that our consumers are still driven by quality and innovations. More and more people are informing themselves about novelties to make their everyday life easier and more sustainable. This is where Miele is recognized as a leader in innovation and sustainability.

5. Miele is the winner of numerous awards for quality and business. What new things can we expect from you in the period ahead when we talk about product innovation?

The whole 2024 will be a celebration year in which we will continuously expand our 125th anniversary offers but also introduce new and attractive products. Our segment of cordless vacuum cleaners is enlarged with the new Duoflex HX1 which is setting new standards in the world of cordless handsticks in terms of design and cleaning performance. To further develop customer experience in our own retail channels, in March we are launching a new website which will create a personalized and engaging shopping experiences.