Monday April 22, 2013
In Building 1 at GE’s massive Appliance Park, where top-load washing machines have been built for about 60 years, two new assembly lines, costing over $100 million, have begun producing high efficiency frontload washing machines and dryers. This is the first time GE has produced a frontload washing machine and matching dryer from one of its U.S. plants. The new products mean about 200 more jobs.
“This is exciting news for our city and region, both for the 200 quality jobs that these new products bring and for the statement it makes about the quality of our local workforce and the confidence GE has in those men and women,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “For Louisville to be the first city in America to build GE’s new state-of-the-art appliances is also super exciting and bodes well for the future of our diverse and growing local economy.”
The startup of these two lines completes the new product platforms GE committed to bring to Appliance Park in a 2010 announcement that stated they would invest $1 billion to transform its U.S. appliances business and products. Since that announcement, GE Appliances has hired 3,000 new employees in Louisville, 2,500 in 2012 alone.
“Kentucky is proud to be home to GE’s Appliance Park and the wonderful products made there,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The new frontload washer and matching dryer represent the type of innovative quality that has epitomized GE for six decades in the Commonwealth, with this latest project resulting in 200 new jobs and more than $100 million in investment.”
In 2012 GE opened two refurbished factories in Louisville to house the first of the new product platforms - the GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater and French door bottom freezer refrigerator. It also added lines in two existing plants for new dishwasher and washing machine models.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for workers at Appliance Park and across our community,” said Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3). “GE is a prime example of the growth that can come when we combine federal and private investments to develop new technologies, attract new product lines, and create more jobs here at home. With this strong partnership, Louisville will continue to stand at the forefront of the revitalization of American manufacturing.”
Also, as part of the $1 billion investment, GE is investing in cooking products made in Lafayette, GA., top freezer refrigerators made in Decatur, Al., and side by side refrigerators made in Bloomington, Indiana.
“The new frontload washer and dryer are more examples of what we set out to accomplish with our investment in the U.S.,” said GE Appliances president and CEO Chip Blankenship. “Creating products with features consumers want, great quality, made by American workers and competing in a global marketplace. That is what it is all about.”
About the New Frontload Washer and Dryer:
Height Matters: GE’s New Ergo-Friendly Frontload Washer and Dryer Great for Clothes and Your Body
GE engineers and industrial designers have made laundry day less taxing with a universally-designed frontload washer and dryer built for every body. The GE® RightHeight Design™ frontload washer and dryer incorporate the industry’s largest openings and the first Built-in Riser™ to minimize strenuous bends and long reaches, no matter what your height.
Approximately 59 percent of consumers purchase a washer based on its opening and how easy it is to access1. Although manufacturers recommend buying pedestals to raise the height of their washers and dryers, about 60 percent of consumers forgo the added expense.2 Many owners skip pedestals and spend their time in the laundry room hunched over, loading and unloading clothes.
The ENERGY STAR®-qualified GE RightHeight Design frontload washer and dryer pair with Built-in Risers will be available in May, and consumers can choose from white, ruby red or metallic carbon finishes. Colors will vary by model.
Estimated retail price of the new GE RightHeight Design frontload washer with Built-in Riser, model GFWR4800FWW, is $1,299, and the GE RightHeight Design frontload dryer with Built-in Riser, model GFDR480EFWW, is $1,299.**
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GE Appliances is at the forefront of building innovative, energy-efficient appliances that improve people’s lives. GE Appliances’ products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners, water filtration systems and water heaters. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information on GE Appliances, visit www.ge.com/appliances.
1The Stevenson Company, August 2009.
2 The Stevenson Company. Data ranges from 2008 to 2011 and pulled from a second quarter 2012 Stevenson report. An average of 28.9 percent of consumers purchased pedestals for their frontload washing machines.