Household appliance maker Electrolux confirmed its Christchurch, New Zealand plant would gradually close over the next 14 months, making 150 workers redundant.
Manufacturing director Leon Andrewartha said wall oven production would stop in September, cooktop production in December, and electric stove production by October 2005.
Those products would manufactured at the firm's cooking products plant in Adelaide, Australia where its plans to invest a further $20 million in new plant and product development. Mr. Andrewartha described the decision as regrettable but logical in a statement.
"Unfortunately for Christchurch, the Electrolux cooking products plant in Adelaide, South Australia has a broader product range and significantly larger production capacity," he said. "This makes it the logical location for consolidating our on-going investment in cooking manufacturing in this part of the world."
The Christchurch plant produced about 300 electric stoves, wall ovens, and ceramic cooktops per day, compared with the Adelaide plant's more than 2,000.
Mr Andrewartha said all 150 workers, including 25 part-time employees, at the Christchurch plant would lose their jobs. All redundancy obligations would be met, while the company would offer employment and financial advice to its workers.
The manager of the Christchurch plant, Mark Barnes, said workers were philosophical about the pending closure. "I think the majority of them have known its been going to happen for some time...(but) when the date's been set its big shock," Mr. Barnes said.
After the Christchurch plant closed, Electrolux' only presence in New Zealand would be an Auckland-based sales office. (The Dominion Post)
to Daily News