U.S. Appliance Factories Resume Production

By Alan Wolf, YSN

America’s appliance plants are up and running again following sporadic interruptions for COVID cleansings.

Among manufacturers resuming operations is BSH Home Appliances, umbrella to the Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau brands, which has reopened its U.S. manufacturing facilities following a one-month shutdown.

The factories, located in New Bern, N.C., and LaFollette, Tenn., were temporarily closed last month to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, the company said.

In a letter to trade partners, CEO Christofer von Nagel said the company began powering up its plants on April 13, after carefully preparing the facilities “for the safety and well-being of our employees and to do our part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

BSH was among the first appliance manufacturers to halt domestic production pending remediation of affected plants. During this week’s round of bi-weekly Region Call-Ins, AVB Merchandising VP Chad Evans noted that GE Appliances’ production facilities and Whirlpool’s factories in Amana, Iowa and Findlay, Ohio, have also resumed operations, albeit at reduced efficiencies due to newly implemented safety protocols.

See: Vendors Contend with COVID Concerns at Factories

Similarly, LG and Samsung temporarily closed their respective U.S. laundry plants in Clarksville, Tenn., and Newberry County, S.C., this month for COVID-19 cleanings, but both facilities were expected to be up and running following the remediations.

Like Samsung, Electrolux’s Frigidaire refrigeration factory in Anderson, S.C., was temporarily closed for disinfection earlier this month after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a report by Fox Carolina News.

Evans noted that Electrolux is also firing up an older, nearby refrigeration plant, and that both facilities will be operating in tandem going forward.

Despite the resumption of U.S. appliance production, Evans cautioned members that inventory will likely be tight through mid-summer, particularly for refrigerators and freestanding freezers.

YSN is published by AVB Inc.