Whirlpool Corporation announced a series of initiatives to strengthen the company's global operating platform in North America that it hopes will extend its leadership position in the U.S. appliance industry.
The company said the initiatives are part of a comprehensive worldwide effort to optimize its regional manufacturing facilities, supply base, product platforms, and technology resources to better support its global brands and customers.
As part of the global initiative, Whirlpool is nearing completion of approximately U.S. $100 million of investments at seven of its U.S.-based production facilities.
"Whirlpool's leadership position in the appliance industry is built on our ability to offer consumers strong brand names supported by innovative and competitive products and services," said David L. Swift, executive vice president, North American Region. "These initiatives will strengthen Whirlpool's industry leading position in a dynamic business environment marked by intense competitive pressures and rising costs."
The company's $100-million investment in its U.S. manufacturing operations included the following initiatives:
A recent consolidation of Whirlpool's North American top-loading clothes washer production at its Clyde, OH, U.S. manufacturing facility. Part of the consolidation included units previously manufactured at the company's laundry production facility in Monterrey, Mexico. Today, the units are manufactured at Clyde and exported for sale in Mexico.
Expanded production of Whirlpool and KitchenAid brand dishwashers at its Findlay, OH, U.S. plant.
Expanded production of new refrigerator models at its Evansville, IN, U.S. plant.
Expanded production of a new line of Whirlpool brand room air-conditioners and KitchenAid brand built-in refrigerators at its LaVergne, TN, U.S. plant.
Expanded production of Whirlpool brand Duet® clothes dryers at its Marion, OH, U.S. plant.
Expanded production of new Whirlpool and KitchenAid brand cooking products in its Oxford, MS, U.S. and Tulsa, OK, U.S. plants for the U.S. and export markets.
The company also said it expects to make additional investments to strengthen its North American refrigeration competitiveness through the expansion of operations in Mexico. The expansion involves a new facility that is expected to produce the company's next generation of side-by-side refrigerators for Mexico's domestic and export markets in 2005.
Whirlpool expects that some models currently manufactured at the Ft. Smith, AR, U.S. operation will be produced at the new facility. Details regarding the location, scale, and costs of the new facility will be finalized in early 2005.
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