Whirlpool Corporation announced that it plans to invest approximately U.S. $180 million to strengthen the company's manufacturing base in North America and extend its leadership position in the U.S. appliance industry.
The 2004 investments are expected to result in a series of new product introductions and improved cost competitiveness for the company's North American business.
"These investments will support the continuing efforts of our brands and operations in North America to deliver a constant stream of innovation to customers in the U.S. domestic market and throughout the world," said David L. Swift, executive vice president, North American Region. "In addition, the investments will help us drive improved productivity and efficiency across our North American manufacturing platform."
According to the appliance maker, approximately $100 million of the 2004 investment will fund initiatives at the company's manufacturing facilities in the U.S. The initiatives will lead to the production of a number of new Whirlpool brand and KitchenAid brand products.
Whirlpool said it plans to produce several significant new laundry product innovations, which will be produced at the company's manufacturing facilities at Clyde, OH, U.S. and Marion, OH, U.S. The products include the company's new generation of top-load washers and front-load dryers. Current plans call for an investment of up to $145 million in the Ohio-based initiatives over a 3-year period.
The company also announced it plans the completion of a production line for new counter-depth, side-by-side refrigerators at Ft. Smith, AR, U.S., a new line of top-mount refrigerators at Evansville, IN, U.S., new built-in refrigeration products at Lavergne, TN, U.S., new cooking products at Tulsa, OK, U.S., and a wide range of new dishwasher models at Findlay, OH, U.S.
Approximately $80 million of the 2004 investment will be used to begin work on the expansion of the company's laundry production facility in Monterrey, Mexico and the construction of a new refrigeration facility in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuilla.
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