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Whirlpool moving some production to Ohio

Keywords: Tags  Whirlpool, Mexico plant, Ohio plant, front-load washing machines, plant relocation, Jeff Durham, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Whirlpool Corp. will move production of its commercial front-load washing machines to Clyde, Ohio, from Monterrey, Mexico.

"Our supply base will remain relatively unchanged for raw materials," Jeff Durham, Whirlpool vice president of U.S. manufacturing, told AMM when asked about how the relocation might affect metal suppliers in the region.

The relocation will increase operational efficiencies and align with the company’s strategy of building products in the regions where they are primarily sold. Production of the front-load commercial washer platform is due to begin in the United States in April 2014. The product is primarily sold in the United States, with about 10 percent exported to Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia.

"We continue to invest in advanced manufacturing processes in our Clyde plant, where we have a highly skilled work force, making this a smart, long-term business decision for us," Durham said in a statement.

The relocation will create 80 to 100 jobs in Clyde in the next three years.

Whirlpool makes all of its residential washers for the U.S. market in Clyde, including machines sold under eight brands names. All accompanying dryers are made in Whirlpool’s dryer manufacturing facility in Marion, Ohio.

About 80 percent of the products Whirlpool sells domestically are made in the United States. The Benton Harbor, Mich.-based company has committed to investing $1 billion from 2010 through 2014 on its U.S. footprint.

Whirlpool’s Mexico plant will add a new residential washer production line to serve that market. No interruption in the supply of commercial washers is expected during the changeover.

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