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GE to Manufacture New 'Smart' Washers and Dryers in Louisville - GE's (NYSE: GE) Consumer & Industrial division announced today its plans to manufacture high–end energy efficient frontload washers and dryers in Louisville, Kentucky, at GE's Appliance Park facility beginning in 2012
GE to Manufacture New 'Smart' Washers and Dryers in Louisville

 

PRZOOM - /newswire/ - Louisville, KY, United States, 2009/12/21 - GE's (NYSE: GE) Consumer & Industrial division announced today its plans to manufacture high–end energy efficient frontload washers and dryers in Louisville, Kentucky, at GE's Appliance Park facility beginning in 2012. NYSE: GE

   
 
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• GE will create 430 new manufacturing and engineering jobs.
• Latest partnership with city and state brings number of new jobs announced in 2009 for Appliance Park to 830.
• High–End GE Profile frontload washing machines and new GE Profile dryers will meet proposed new 2014 Energy Star standards and will be smart–grid enabled.

GE has been working with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Metro Louisville government on a package of economic development incentives to encourage the Company to expand the Appliance Park operation to increase employment and economic development opportunities in the region.

Production of the new products, together with plans to in–source manufacture of appliance components and to significantly increase the number of engineers at the facility, would result in the creation of more than 430 new jobs at the Louisville operation. When combined with the hybrid water heater jobs announced earlier this year, the total number of new GE Appliance jobs announced in 2009 would reach 830, further building upon GE's vision of an “American Renewal” fueled by a reinvigorated U.S. manufacturing sector.

In addition to new jobs, GE's plans call for an investment of more than $80 million on the new programs announced today. The state preliminarily approved GE for an incentive package for the hybrid water heater project in May 2009. With the expansion of the original proposal to include production of the new laundry products and appliance component manufacture, the Cabinet for Economic Development has committed to seek approval of an amended package at the Authority's January 2010 meeting that will increase the incentives to a total package of $21.5 million. In addition, Metro Louisville provided incentives in the amount of $2.5 million and today introduced an ordinance before the Metro Council to amend the funding mechanism to increase the city's incentives.

“These new highly featured, energy–efficient laundry products will be a terrific addition to our portfolio and significantly enhance our leadership position in frontload laundry,” said GE Consumer & Industrial President and CEO Jim Campbell. “We are making big investments in new products and in energy–efficient technologies that are creating American jobs.”

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said, “Over the last several years GE management, and its union leaders, have made tremendous strides in revitalizing its manufacturing presence at Appliance Park. So, when the management reached out earlier this year for help to bring the new hybrid water heater to Appliance Park, I immediately started to work alongside Mayor Abramson to develop competitive incentives to encourage new growth and jobs. With today's announcement, over a period of less than six months, GE plans to invest more than $150 million to bring three major product lines to Louisville that, together, will expand their workforce by more than 800 jobs and create millions of dollars in positive economic impact for our state. These are good-paying jobs in the growing 'green technology' sector, and we are elated that GE is investing in these innovations right here in Kentucky.”

GE's most innovative efficiency technology will enable the new laundry products to meet the proposed new 2014 Energy Star standards. They will also incorporate smart–grid technology that will enable these products to communicate with utility smart meters to help reduce energy demand during peak usage times with features that will empower consumers to control their energy consumption and save money in areas where time of use pricing is in effect.

“This new washer and dryer line not only brings new jobs to Louisville, it brings green and energy–efficient appliances to our city,” Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said. “The future of GE in Louisville, which once was in jeopardy, is now very bright.”

The washing machine would go into production in the third quarter of 2012 and the new dryer in the third quarter of 2013. Steam technology, specialty fabric cycles, advanced vibration–reduction technology and washer–dryer communication will deliver great performance and convenience for the consumer. Currently, 90 percent of GE's frontload washers dryers are manufactured outside the U.S.

Production of the laundry units is the second new product platform to be introduced in Louisville this year. The first was the GE Hybrid Water Heater – which is GE's first commercially available smart-grid enabled product. The hybrid water heaters will go into production in mid–2011 as part of an investment program creating approximately 400 jobs. The water heaters are Energy Star qualified and will save approximately $320* annually compared to a traditional electric water heater. The hybrid is currently made by a supplier and available for sale.

“We can't make these products in the U.S. competitively without everyone coming to the table—unions, the Company, employees, local/state/federal officials. “We are grateful to the state and the city for their continued support in bringing these new products and jobs to Appliance Park,” said Campbell.

* Based on a Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure comparing a standard 50–gallon electric tank water heater using 4,881 kilowatt–hours per year versus the GE Hybrid water heater using 1,856 kilowatt-hours per year.

GE Consumer & Industrial spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting and integrated industrial equipment, systems and services. Providing solutions for commercial, industrial and residential use in more than 100 countries, GE Consumer & Industrial uses innovative technologies and ecomaginationSM, a GE initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that help customers and consumers meet pressing environmental challenges, to deliver comfort, convenience and electrical protection and control. General Electric (ge.com), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Entellisys®, Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands.

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GE to Manufacture New 'Smart' Washers and Dryers in Louisville

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