Indesit Company today opened a logistics center in Lipetzk, Russia’s first and the biggest in the white goods appliances industry in Europe. Attending the event were Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Indesit Board Chairman Vittorio Merloni.
“We’re in stage three of our development in Russia,” said Merloni, “which aims to guarantee maximum client service levels and consolidate our leadership in the country”.
Stage one of Indesit's development in the region hinged on developing low production costs, and the effort focused on the 2000 acquisition of the Stinol refrigerator plant, built five years previously by Merloni Progetti.
Stage two focused on improving productivity and efficiency, and culminated in the building of the washing machine plant, also in the Lipetzk industrial district. The plant opened in April 2004 in a ceremony attended by Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi.
The third and final stage of this development process will ensure greater distribution capacity, an internal Customs capability and broader line of products for Russia, served by over 300 after-sales centers in 150 towns. So far, 13 million appliances have been sold in the territory.
The new logistics "pole" is situated 400 km (approx. 250 miles) south of Moscow and will employ 200 people, in addition to the 5,000 already working in the industrial facilities. The center was built by Merloni Progetti, which has also built 23 plants in Russia, and will be operated by Indesit French partner Geodis. The center will handle distribution of Russian-built products as well as Indesit appliances coming into Russia from Italy, Poland and Turkey.
Indesit (Fabriano, Italy), formerly Merloni, actually assisted in the building of the Stinol refrigerator plant, which was developed originally by a Russian metallurgical concern. The plant was visited by APPLIANCE magazine and profiled in the article Success in Lipetzk in July 1996.
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