Electrolux Major Appliances North America senior management, including President and CEO Jack Truong (pictured, center), led a group of dignitaries on a tour of the new 750,000-sq-ft Electrolux manufacturing plant in Memphis, TN. The plant is expected to begin limited production of cooking appliances in May of this year.
Guests on the Jan. 15, 2013, tour were local and state leaders and news media, including Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, State Senator Mark Norris, and Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey.
Electrolux highlighted different pieces of high-tech digital manufacturing equipment in the plant, including specialized robotics and automated assembly lines.
The plant will make built-in and specialty cooking products, including drop-in/slide-in ranges, wall ovens, and freestanding ranges, under the Electrolux, Electrolux ICON, and Frigidaire brand names.
Electrolux executives also showed off the plant's research and development center, built to provide simulation testing of a product's lifetime usage and performance expectations. The new R&D lab can test up to 380 appliances at once.
"We are putting down roots here in the Memphis community," said Truong. He said construction was in its "home stretch," and he thanked the individuals, local and state leadership, and organizations that were part of the effort to get the project off the ground. This included $188 million in subsidies from local and state government.
The plant is estimated to cost $277 million. Groundbreaking took place on Oct 5, 2011. The plant has hired 90 employees and will hire 160 more by May 2013, including engineering, supply chain management, finance, and operations management positions. Electrolux plans to eventually hire 1,200 people at the plant as full-scale production ramps up.
The company estimated that 3,600 more jobs will be created by suppliers supporting the plant.
Memphis will be the second Electrolux facility in Tennessee; it also has production in Springfield. Total employment in the state by Electrolux is estimated to eventually reach 4,000.
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