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The company said it would lay off approximately 700 employees at its Fort Smith, Ark. facility. The layoffs are expected to begin in November 2008, and there is currently no timetable for when employees may be called back to the facility.
The company also recently announced a voluntary layoff of 120 employees at its Evansville, In. manufacturing facility.
"Like many manufacturers, we are facing a marketplace filled with unprecedented challenges, including lower demand levels, significant and unrelenting increases in the costs of steel, oil and other materials used to make and deliver our products," said Alan Holaday, vice president, Manufacturing Operations, Whirlpool Corporation, North America Region. "These workforce adjustments, while difficult for our employees and their families, are necessary to remain competitive in the global marketplace."
Whirlpool in 2008 has -- as part of its global operating platform strategy -- taken significant steps within its operations to ensure the company remains competitive. These include ongoing productivity initiatives and the announced consolidation of several manufacturing facilities.
Whirlpool has also accelerated its schedule of product innovations, launching more than 70 new products in North America during 2008 under its leading brand names. The new products include new products in every major category. The company has also continued to aggressively support brand-building marketing plans to help ensure consumers are aware of the new products and features introduced to the market.
About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion, 73,000 employees, and 72 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/ .
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. 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; (2) Whirlpool's ability to continue its relationship with significant trade customers, including Sears Holding Corporation in North America (accounting for approximately 12% of Whirlpool's 2007 consolidated net sales of $19.4 billion) and the ability of these trade customers to maintain or increase market share; (3) changes in economic conditions, including the strength of the U.S. building industry and the level of interest rates; (4) the ability of Whirlpool to achieve its business plans, productivity improvements, cost control, leveraging of its global operating platform, and acceleration of the rate of innovation; (5) fluctuations in the cost of key materials (including steel, oil, plastic, resins, copper and aluminum) and components and the ability of Whirlpool to offset cost increases; (6) the ability of suppliers of critical parts, components and manufacturing equipment to deliver sufficient quantities to Whirlpool in a timely and cost-effective manner; (7) our ability to attract, develop and retain executives and other qualified employees; (8) 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; (10) litigation including product liability and product defect claims; (11) the impact of labor relations; (12) Whirlpool's ability to obtain and protect intellectual property rights; (13) the ability of Whirlpool to manage foreign currency fluctuations; and (14) global, political and/or economic uncertainty and disruptions, especially in Whirlpool's significant geographic regions, including uncertainty and disruptions arising from natural disasters or terrorist attacks. 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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SOURCE: Whirlpool Corporation
CONTACT: Media, Monica Teague, +1-269-923-7405, Financial, Greg Fritz,
Web site: http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com/