updated: 8/6/2012 1:08:43 PM
Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) says it will close an Evansville facility by the end of 2014. The company says it will move work from the Refrigeration Product Development Center to two of its Michigan plants.
August 6, 2012
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Whirlpool Corporation will centralize its refrigeration product development operations for North America by adding a minimum of 180 jobs to its Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, Mich. locations. The company currently has three other product category development operations in these communities – supporting cooking, dishwashing and laundry products. Today the company informed employees of its Evansville, Ind. Refrigeration Product Development Center that operations in that location will close by year-end 2014.
Employing more U.S. manufacturing workers than all of its major competitors combined, Whirlpool Corporation is committed to its refrigeration business and continues to strengthen the overall innovation, efficiency and profitability of this important and successful product category. The company’s refrigeration products recently received 17 high-level ratings from a leading consumer magazine including No. 1 ratings in the top mount, conventional bottom freezer and built-in refrigerator categories.
“As the U.S. demand for appliances remains flat, Whirlpool Corporation is centralizing its engineering expertise, talent and facilities in Michigan to further strengthen its rollout of new product innovation to consumers,” said Kristine Vernier, spokesperson for Whirlpool Corporation.
Meetings with Evansville employees will begin immediately to discuss individual employment options which may include relocation to Mich., retirement, or severance and assistance from the company to pursue new employment. “This decision was difficult and in no way reflects on the quality of work in Evansville or the support from the local community or the State of Indiana,” said Vernier.
A current Whirlpool facility in the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area will be renovated to accommodate the Refrigeration Product Development Center. Investments in this facility will total $18.6 million including renovations and equipment.
As the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, Whirlpool Corporation spends more than $7.4 billion each year to operate its eight U.S. plants and keep its approximately 15,000 manufacturing employees at work. In addition, more than 82 percent of the products Whirlpool Corporation makes that are sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S. Whirlpool Corporation continues to invest in U.S. manufacturing jobs and $1 billion in its U.S. footprint from 2009-2014.
About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2011, 68,000 employees, and 65 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com.
Source: Whirlpool Corp.