Whirlpool Corp. (Benton Harbor, Mich.) announced plans to consolidate laundry washer and dryer production from Maytag manufacturing sites in Newton, Iowa; Herrin, Illinois and Searcy, Arkansas into Whirlpool appliance factories in Clyde and Marion, Ohio. Maytag administrative offices will also be closed and moved from Newton, Iowa to Benton Harbor, Mich., and other Whirlpool locations. The Newton-based research and development center, and the administrative office of Maytag International, based in Schaumburg, Illinois, also will be closed.
The closures reportedly follow an extensive review of Maytag operations by Whirlpool managers. All told approximately 3,500 jobs will be cut at Maytag facilities, and 1,000 positions will be added at Whirlpool locations.
"Our manufacturing sites in Clyde and Marion are two of the most efficient facilities in the world, with capacity to grow,” said David L. Swift, president, Whirlpool North America. "This was a difficult, but necessary decision that will further improve the cost efficiency of our laundry operations, providing consumers with industry-leading innovation and competitively produced washers and dryers from U.S.-based manufacturing locations.”
The timetables for the affected manufacturing operations are:
- The factory in Herrin, Illinois, which manufactures washers and dryers and employs about 1,000, will continue production until the end of 2006.
- The factory in Searcy, Arkansas, which manufactures dryers and employs about 700, will continue production until the end of 2006.
- The factory in Newton, Iowa, which manufactures washers and dryers and employs about 1,000, will continue production into 2007.
The company reported that it doesn't plan to close any additional factories as part of the Maytag integration process.
“We are taking these actions to rapidly restore the competitiveness of the Maytag brands,” said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and chief executive officer. “This is an important step in our integration process that will allow us to drive continuing performance improvements and will better align our brands, products and operations with the markets we serve domestically and globally.”
The preliminary estimate of termination and relocation costs resulting from consolidation of Maytag administrative offices is approximately $135-to-$145 million. Non-employee exit costs associated with laundry facility closings are approximately $30 million.
Source: Whirlpool Corp.