As a part of the ongoing global initiative, Whirlpool is negotiating a licensing agreement with potential global partners to manufacture, market and distribute air control products that will carry the Whirlpool brand name.
"This approach brings new opportunities for the Whirlpool brand presence in air control," said Marise Kumar, Whirlpool vice president, Business Strategy and Core Competencies. "This future transition will offer our customers expanded product offerings and services."
Dehumidifiers and air purifiers currently manufactured by Whirlpool at the LaVergne, Tennessee manufacturing facility will be phased out after the 2007 air control season. Approximately 330 positions will be eliminated following the decision. The company will fulfill all consumer requirements for the 2007 air control season before production ramps down at the LaVergne plant. Beginning in 2008, Whirlpool customers will see expanded product offerings and increased services through the new provider.
Whirlpool also announced changes for its North American manufacturing cooking facilities. As part of the ongoing global initiative, Whirlpool is optimizing production capacity and adjusting its workforce levels to optimize production capabilities within its cooking manufacturing facilities and platforms. Single cavity freestanding range units built at the company's Cleveland, Tennessee manufacturing facility will be relocated to Whirlpool manufacturing locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Celaya, Mexico. Approximately 400 positions will be eliminated in Cleveland following the relocation, mainly through normal attrition and the reduction of temporary positions. The company has not yet determined the number of positions being created at Tulsa and Celaya. The production ramp down of the freestanding cooking platform in Cleveland will be complete by the end of 2008.
These changes reflect the strategic role of the company's North American manufacturing base within its global manufacturing and distribution network. Products from the North American facilities are sold to consumers in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and in markets around the world.
About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $18 billion, more than 73,000 employees, and more than 70 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, 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/.
Whirlpool Additional Information:
This document contains forward-looking statements that speak only as of this date. Whirlpool disclaims any obligation to update these statements. Forward-looking statements in this document include, but are not limited to, statements regarding expected earnings per share, cash flow, productivity and material and oil-related prices, as well as expectations as to the integration with Maytag Corporation. Many risks, contingencies and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from Whirlpool Corporation's forward-looking statements. Among these factors are: (1) intense competition in the home appliance industry reflecting the impact of both new and established global competitors, including Asian and European, manufacturers and the strength of trade customers; (2) Whirlpool's ability to continue its strong relationship with Sears Holding Corporation in North America (accounting for approximately 14% of Whirlpool's 2006 consolidated net sales of $18.1 billion) and other significant trade customers, and the ability of these trade customers to maintain or increase market share; (3) Whirlpool's ability to complete the integration of Maytag Corporation on a timely basis and fully realize the anticipated benefits of the merger while remaining within the current cost estimates; (4) demand for Whirlpool's products, including the strength of the U.S. building industry and the level of interest rates; (5) the ability of Whirlpool to achieve its business plans, including productivity improvements, cost control, leveraging of its global operating platform, acceleration of the rate of innovation and realization of cost-based price increases; (6) fluctuations in the cost of key materials (including steel, oil, plastic, resins, copper and zinc) and components and the ability of Whirlpool to offset cost increases; (7) the ability of suppliers of critical parts, components and manufacturing equipment to deliver sufficient quantities to Whirlpool in a timely and cost-effective manner; (8) changes in market conditions, health care cost trends and regulatory changes that could increase future funding obligations for pension and post-retirement benefit plans; (9) the cost of compliance with environmental and health and safety regulations, including regulations in Europe regarding appliance disposal; (10) potential exposure to product liability claims, including claims that may arise through Whirlpool's regular investigations of potential quality issues as part of its ongoing effort to provide quality products to consumers; (11) the impact of labor relations; (12) Whirlpool's ability to obtain and protect intellectual property rights; (13) volatility in Whirlpool's effective tax rate; (14) the ability of Whirlpool to manage foreign currency fluctuations; (15) global, political and/or economic uncertainty and disruptions, especially in Whirlpool's significant geographic markets, including uncertainty and disruptions arising from natural disasters, or terrorist attacks; and (16) risks associated with operations outside the United States. Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in Whirlpool Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K.
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