GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, announced a $62 million investment to expand production at its 750-acre manufacturing complex in Louisville, Ky., along with the creation of 260 new jobs as each of the three major manufacturing plants at Appliance Park ramp up assembly lines to produce more washers, dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators.
“The investments and new jobs we are announcing today are another demonstration of our commitment to continue enhancing our manufacturing footprint in the United States to serve more customers and owners faster and better,” said Kevin Nolan, president and chief executive officer for GE Appliances, in the announcement statement. “We are working very hard to build a competitive position that allows us to continue expanding our workforce and invest in winning products, paving the way to becoming the leading appliance company in the United States.”
A $43 million investment will be used to manufacture GE, GE Profile and Café four-door models in the Park’s refrigeration plant. The four-door refrigerator — consisting of a traditional French door fresh food area, a freezer and a convertible section that can be used as either a freezer or refrigerator — is the fastest-growing design in high-end refrigeration. The expansion is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2021, says the company.
The investment will include new tooling and equipment for the door and case areas, additional automation and upgrading the plant to use a more environmentally friendly refrigerant that meets the latest environmental standards. This program will increase capacity in the plant, positioning the company to add new jobs and introduce additional models, providing the facility a platform for long-term growth in the industry.
A $19 million investment for new equipment and factory modernization will be made in the Park’s dishwasher manufacturing plant, creating added volume and capacity expansion to support growing demand for dishwashers.
As a result of the pandemic, according to GE Appliances, consumers are staying at home more than before and using their appliances more often. Desire for sanitization cycles on washers and dishwashers is helping drive increased demand for the brand’s leading top-load platform and dishwasher models. According to new research, dishwashers are being run more frequently during the pandemic, and use of sanitization or high wash temperature cycles are up more than 50 percent; washer and dryer use is up 25 percent, and the sanitization cycle on washers is up 85 percent.
Since 2017, GE Appliances has invested $360 million in Appliance Park and has expanded its workforce through the creation of more than 660 new jobs. GEA operations in Kentucky generate an annual economic impact of $11 billion. More than 6,500 employees work for the company in the Louisville area.