Whirlpool Corporation Honors Top U.S. Suppliers

Whirlpool Corporation today announced the annual roster of the company's leading U.S. suppliers. They will be acknowledged tonight at a Supplier Performance Awards Banquet at Lake Michigan College's Mendel Center in Benton Harbor.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040202/DETU004LOGO )

Whirlpool's Global Procurement Organization partners with suppliers around the world to obtain high quality, cost-effective materials, components and other products from top-notch suppliers that demonstrate excellence in quality, delivery, productivity and innovation.

"Whirlpool's world-class supply base deserves part of the credit for the success we have achieved the last few years in transforming our company into an innovative industry leader that places the customer front and center of our operations globally," said Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "To achieve the degree of customer loyalty that we are aiming for, Whirlpool depends not only on the dedication of 68,000 employees worldwide but also on the quality and dependability of our suppliers."

Out of the company's approximately 700 U.S. suppliers, Whirlpool recognized 21 companies for outstanding performance. These suppliers were judged primarily on three criteria: quality of their goods, productivity and material management. A total of 25 supplier awards will be issued at the banquet.

"The suppliers we partner with are vital in helping us to maintain our status as the world's leading home appliance manufacturer," said Franklin Starn, Whirlpool's vice president for North American procurement. "Those that we are honoring this year consistently meet our requirements in quality, productivity, engineering, design, availability, and, increasingly, innovation."

The companies honored with distinction by Whirlpool Corporation and the products they supply are:

  "With Distinction"
  -  Chick Packaging  (wood & carton material)
  -  Groschopp, Inc. (motors-pumps)
  -  Mercury Plastics, Inc. (fasteners & plastic extruded) *
  -  Regional Die Casting Ltd. (zinc & aluminum castings)
  -  Stackpole Ltd. (powder metal & iron castings)

  Other Honorees
  -  American Wire Tech, Inc. (electrical controls & steel components) *
  -  Davlyn Manufacturing Company (seals, insulators, shims)
  -  Innovene  (plastic resin)
  -  Jabil Circuit (Huangpu Hub), Inc. (electronic components)
  -  LCR Electronics, Inc. (electrical components)
  -  Mansfield Industries, Inc. (steel components)
  -  Marubeni America Corporation (copper)
  -  Noma Cable Tech (copper)
  -  Nueva Generacion Manufacturas, S.A. de C.V. (electrical components)
  -  Panasonic Industrial Company (electrical components & foreign purchased
     compressors) *
  -  PPG Industries, Inc. (paint)
  -  TH Plastics, Inc. (plastic molded major & assembly & plastic molded
     minor) *
  -  Tube Forming, Inc. (copper components)
  -  Wako Electronics (USA), Inc. (electrical controls)

  Innovation Award
  -  American Trim, LLC
  -  Gemtron Corporation

American Trim and Gemtron were recognized for embedding innovation-centric processes within their organizations, enabling them to bring customer-focused innovative ideas to Whirlpool on a regular basis. Whirlpool will be launching two products this year with innovative solutions provided by these companies.

Consecutive-year honorees were American Trim, American Wire Tech, Chick Packaging, Davlyn Manufacturing, Groschopp, Mansfield Industries, Nueva Generacion Manufacturas, Panasonic and Stackpole.

(* Companies receiving two supplier awards.)

Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of over $13 billion, 68,000 employees, and nearly 50 manufacturing and technology research centers around the globe. The company markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Brastemp, Bauknecht, Consul and other major brand names to consumers in more than 170 countries. Additional information about the company can be found on the Internet at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com/ .

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040202/DETU004LOGO
PRN Photo Desk; photodesk@prnewswire.com

SOURCE: Whirlpool Corporation

CONTACT: Media: Tom Kline, +1-269-923-3738,
thomas_e_kline@whirlpool.com , or Financial: Larry Venturelli,
+1-269-923-4678, Larry_m_venturelli@whirlpool.com , both of Whirlpool