Carrier shouldered the load of keeping things hot and cold. The company was the world's largest maker of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems for residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation needs. Through Carrier Transicold, it made truck/trailer and container refrigeration equipment and provides transport air-conditioning systems for bus, rail, and marine customers. Carrier also provided aftermarket services and components for its products. The company was a subsidiary of diversified manufacturer United Technologies Corporation (UTC); it accounted for about 20% of UTC's sales. In 2011 Carrier was combined with sister firm UTC Fire & Security to create UTC Climate Controls & Security.
The combination was intended to allow the firms to provide more fully integrated products. Carrier president Geraud Darnis took the helm of the new division, which began reporting combined operating results in 2012. UTC kept the Carrier brand.
Prior to the change, Carrier reacted to the global economic downturn by cutting costs, and divesting non-core assets. Instead it focused on investing in technology and energy-efficient products and services. The company began realigning its portfolio in 2008 as demand for its products fell due to depressed residential housing and commercial construction markets. Carrier sold lower-performing subsidiaries such as International Cold Storage and its commercial refrigeration products unit, Tyler Refrigeration. Altogether the company sold or closed 30 businesses representing $2.5 billion in net sales. The realignment made Carrier a leaner, less complex company.
At the same time, Carrier looked to expand in other areas. It boosted its energy solutions capabilities when it bought NORESCO. Carrier also looked to form partnerships in order to further develop distribution in the US and abroad. In 2009 the company formed a joint venture with Watsco to distribute Carrier, Bryant, Payne, and Totaline residential and light commercial products in the US sunbelt region and markets in the Caribbean and Latin America. The venture, which boosted revenue and profitability by improving efficiency and cutting costs, compelled Carrier to form a distribution joint venture with Watsco in Mexico in 2011. The company also established similar partnerships in Australia, Europe, and the Middle East.
International sales accounted for more than half of Carrier's revenues. The company made inroads in China via acquisitions, including building automation contractors Sinostride and Maingate, and a controlling interest in Shandong Fuerda Air Conditioner Equipment, a company active in the country's water source and geothermal heat pump segment.
In 2010 the company sold its Sutrak (air-conditioning systems for buses) operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as divisions based in Mexico and India, to European manufacturer Eberspächer. Following suit in North America, Carrier in 2011 sold its US and Canada bus air-conditioning business to Mobile Climate Control in a $32.1 million deal. The moves were made to help Carrier shift its focus to retail food refrigeration in Europe and emerging markets.
In 2009 the company merged its European and South African wholesale refrigeration operations with those of Swedish industrial equipment wholesaler G & L Beijer. After the deal, Carrier gained a 33% voting stake in Beijer.
Carrier returned to organic sales growth in 2010. That was driven mostly by higher demand in the transportation market as companies looked to replace refrigeration units. Growth in the Asian and Latin American HVAC market also helped the company's bottom line.
Carrier operated around 50 manufacturing facilities and had dealers in more than 170 countries.
The company was founded by Willis Carrier in 1902. – less