Haier expands in Ken­tucky, to add 400 jobs

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS -

Ap­pli­ance maker an­nounces $200m plan; also, a pur­chase in Italy and pro­duc­tion su­per­sites where we can more ef­fi­ciently chan­nel our in­no­va­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­per­tise by prod­uct line,” said Kevin Nolan, pres­i­dent and CEO for GE Ap­pli­ances.

“This will greatly ac­cel­er­ate our abil­ity to pro­vide in­no­va­tive new prod­ucts that will de­light con­sumers, ex­pand our work­force and en­hance our lead­er­ship in the ma­jor ap­pli­ance in­dus­try,” Nolan added.

The US in­vest­ment, which would in­crease man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity for the com­pany’s laun­dry pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity by 20 per­cent, in­cluded the ad­di­tion of a new topload washer, a new dryer plat­form, and ad­di­tional pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity for ex­ist­ing mod­els.

On the dish­washer side, the new in­vest­ment would en­able the com­pany to add new plas­tic and stain­less steel tub mod­els, ex­pand­ing its pro­duc­tion ca­pac­i­ties by 35 per­cent.

Ac­cord­ing to Julie Wood, se­nior direc­tor of pub­lic re­la­tions at GE Ap­pli­ances, work on the ex­pan­sion has al­ready started and it’s ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of 2019.

The new in­vest­ment plan was un­veiled on Mon­day dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the com­pany par­tic­i­pated in by Gov. Matt Bevin of Ken­tucky and noted po­lit­i­cal lead­ers such as Louisville Mayor Greg Fis­cher and Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell.

“GE Ap­pli­ances has long been an ex­em­plary cor­po­rate part­ner for Louisville and the com­mon­wealth,” Gov. Bevin said. “This iconic com­pany has em­ployed many thou­sands of Ken­tuck­ians for gen­er­a­tions, and we are grate­ful for their most re­cent in­vest­ment in the Blue­grass State.

“As GE Ap­pli­ances con­tin­ues to adapt to a chang­ing mar­ket­place, we are con­fi­dent that they will re­main a per­fect fit right here in Ken­tucky — Amer­ica’s cen­ter for en­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­cel­lence.”

GE Ap­pli­ances has been a ma­jor part of the US econ­omy. The com­pany em­ployed 12,000 em­ploy­ees in the US and con­trib­uted $8.8 bil­lion to the US’ GDP.

In 2016, China’s Haier Group ac­quired the Louisville, Ken­tucky-based GE Ap­pli­ances from the Gen­eral Elec­tric Com­pany for $5.4 bil­lion.

With the new an­nounce­ment, Haier Corp has in­vested a cu­mu­la­tive $475 mil­lion in ma­jor prod­uct and man­u­fac­tur­ing in­vest­ments across the coun­try in 2018, re­sult­ing in the cre­ation of more than 1,000 new jobs in the US.

Be­sides the in­vest­ment in the US, Haier, which was born out of a re­frig­er­a­tor fac­tory in Qing­dao in 1984, has also been push­ing to ex­pand its pro­duc­tion glob­ally.

On Fri­day, Haier an­nounced that it would ac­quire Candy S. p. A, an Ital­ian fam­i­ly­owned man­u­fac­turer of home ap­pli­ances.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from Candy, Haier will set up its Euro­pean head­quar­ters in Brughe­rio, Italy, where Candy is based.

The trans­ac­tion is ex­pected to be com­pleted by early 2019. It is sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory fil­ings, ap­provals and other cus­tom­ary con­di­tions with rel­e­vant do­mes­tic and for­eign gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to Euromon­i­tor, a global mar­ket re­search in­sti­tute, last year marked Qing­dao Haier’s ninth con­sec­u­tive year as the world’s largest do­mes­tic ap­pli­ance brand in terms of global sales.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Kevin Nolan, CEO of Haier’s GE Ap­pli­ances, an­nounces a $200 mil­lion in­vest­ment and the cre­ation of 400 new jobs dur­ing an Oct. 1 me­dia con­fer­ence in Louisville, Ken­tucky, while Louisville Mayor Greg Fis­cher (left) and Ken­tucky Gover­nor Matt Bevin look on.

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