Fisher & Paykel Moves Dryer Production to U.S.
Dec 8, 2005
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New Zealand-based appliance maker Fisher & Paykel Appliances (F&P) said it relocating production of its SmartLoad Dryers to its new North American manufacturing site located in Clyde, Ohio, U.S.

According to the company, the top-loading, large capacity dryers were designed specifically for the U.S. market where it sells more than 95 percent of the dryers currently produced on the East Tamaki, Auckland, site. Plant and equipment will be relocated and the plant and is expected to be in production by late 2006.

"Like the washers, the dryers are large and give us the same opportunity to save costs of working capital and freight," John Bongard, CEO and managing director, said. "Placing the production closer to our largest customer base for them makes good business sense."

F&P said once the plant is fully operational, it expects an approximate U.S. $8-million reduction in working capital and an estimated $2.5 million improvement in earnings per year at expected sales levels.

The relocation will reduce the number of jobs on the Auckland site, although not immediately and the company said 65 positions are directly involved with current SmartLoad production. Affected employees will be redeployed around the site and natural attrition is also expected to lessen the impact of redundancy, according to F&P.

"While we never like seeing jobs disappear from New Zealand we also have to think of the long-term interests of the business," Bongard said. "Anyone involved in exporting right now is finding it tough, but this is not all about currency it is also about saving ongoing costs."

By the end of 2006, F&P says the Clyde, Ohio plant will be producing washing machines, clothes dryers and appliance motors. The company also has a production facility in Huntington Beach, California, U.S., where it manufactures indoor and outdoor cooking products.

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