Viking Range Corp., the originator of commercial-style cooking appliances for the home, will expand its refrigeration line. The company will give the refrigeration line more floor space at national trade shows as well as a larger share of the advertising budget.
"We have to overcome that image that we are experts in cooking and not refrigeration," said Martin Wesemann, general manager of refrigeration. Since 1996, production has grown more than tenfold while the dollar volume of those refrigeration sales has quadrupled. Mr. Wesemann said Viking is budgeting for a 30-percent increase in production next year. Viking brought most of its refrigeration production in-house in 2000.
The 133,000-sq-ft refrigeration plant is one of three manufacturing facilities Viking operates in Greenwood, MI, U.S. Mr. Wesemann said employment in the refrigeration plant, which now totals 114, will double over the next 2 years. Currently, Viking manufactures in Greenwood two basic refrigerators: a 48-in-wide side-by-side unit, and a 36-in-wide unit with a bottom freezer. Smaller counter units are manufactured elsewhere. Viking plans to add six full-size models over the next year. The first, a 30-in-wide wine cooler, is about ready to roll off the Greenwood production line, Mr. Wesemann said. (Associated Press)
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