Lennox International Inc. signed an exclusive agreement with Tradewinds Distribution LLC, a subsidiary of Watsco Inc. to produce Whirlpool®-branded air conditioning and heating equipment. Watsco is a leading U.S. distributor of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration products. Watsco last year executed a license agreement with Whirlpool Corporation to serve as the exclusive U.S. distributor for a new line of central air-conditioning and heating products with the Whirlpool brand name.
Under the agreement LII will be the exclusive producer of the new Whirlpool heating and cooling products. Tradewinds will be responsible for all other activities associated with the product, including sales, distribution, marketing, technical service, and customer support.
"The agreement with Tradewinds represents a significant new manufacturing prospect for our core heating and cooling business," said Bob Schjerven, LII CEO. "It is a unique opportunity to partner with the nation's leading HVAC distributor and the highly respected Whirlpool brand.
"Our progress with lean manufacturing initiatives allows us to optimize our manufacturing resources, increasing our volumes without adding capacity. This positions us well for continued growth of our return on invested capital and adding further value for our shareholders," he added.
Lennox officials said that, while the agreement offers significant long-term potential to LII, the financial impact over the short term will be minimal due to associated start-up costs. Shipments of Whirlpool- branded products will begin late in first quarter 2003.
Lennox is a leading global HVAC producer with headquarters in Dallas, TX, U.S.
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