Global manufacturer relocates production to US
A locally based maker of household products is relocating the production of one of its lines from an international plant to the U.S. — and creating 80-100 jobs.
Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation said Friday that it is moving production of its commercial front-load washing machines from Monterrey, Mexico to Clyde, Ohio. Production of the washer platform should begin in April.
The decision by the global appliance maker is an example of its “continued commitment to its U.S. manufacturing base and its confidence in the Clyde, Ohio skilled workforce,” according to a Whirlpool announcement.
Whirlpool will create 80-100 jobs in Clyde during the next three years to support the relocation.
Whirlpool said the relocation will “increase operational efficiencies" and aligns with its strategy of making products where they're sold.
The washing machines are primarily sold in the U.S., with about 10 percent being exported to Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia.
The commercial front-load washing machines are used in settings such as laundromats, hospitals and hotels.
The company anticipates no interruption in the supply of commercial washers during the changeover.
"We continue to invest in advanced manufacturing processes in our Clyde, Ohio plant, where we have a highly skilled workforce, making this a smart, long-term business decision for us," said Jeff Durham, VP of U.S. manufacturing at Whirlpool. "We look forward to ramping up production and building this quality product, for the U.S. and abroad, right here in Clyde Ohio.”
Whirlpool said its Clyde manufacturing plant is 2.4 million square feet and the largest washing machine plant in the world.
Whirlpool makes all of its residential washers, across its brands, for the U.S. market at the Clyde plant.
All accompanying dryers are made at Whirlpool's dryer manufacturing facility in Marion, Ohio.
Whirlpool said the Mexico plant will add a residential washer production line to serve the Mexico market.
The company expects to maintain its employment level at the Mexico plant.
Whirlpool noted today that it employs about 15,000 manufacturing workers in the U.S. — “more than all of its major competitors combined.”
The company added that 80 percent of the products it "sells in the U.S. are made in the U.S."
Whirlpool has committed to investing $1 billion, from 2010-2014, in its U.S. footprint, including investments at the Clyde facility, other manufacturing facilities and an office complex at its Benton Harbor headquarters.
Whirlpool reported annual revenue of about $18 billion in 2012, employs some 68,000 people and operates 65 manufacturing and technology research centers across the globe.