GE Adding Refrigeration, Dishwasher Capacity at Appliance Park

GE will manufacture its Café Quad-Door refrigerator at Appliance Park as part of a new $62 million capital investment.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

GE Appliances has earmarked $62 million to expand production capacity at its massive Appliance Park manufacturing complex in Louisville, Ky.

The investment, which will upgrade the company’s dishwasher and four-door refrigeration factories, comes as white-goods manufacturers are struggling to meet soaring demand for major home appliances amid the COVID-19 crisis.

See: AVB’s Chad Evans on Inventory Availability

The bulk of the outlay — $43 million — will be used to manufacture four-door refrigerators, which GE described as the fastest-growing configuration in premium refrigeration. The company said the funds will pay for new tooling and equipment for the door and case areas within Appliance Park’s refrigeration plant, as well as additional automation and an upgrade to an eco-friendlier refrigerant that meets the latest environmental standards.

The expansion will add more four-door volume for the GE, GE Profile and Café brands and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

The balance of the investment, $19 million, will go toward new equipment and factory modernization at the facility’s dishwasher plant to expand production capacity. According to new research cited by GE, dishwashers are being run more frequently during the pandemic, and use of sanitization or high wash temperature cycles are up more than 50 percent.

The same holds true for laundry, where washer and dryer use is up 25 percent and the use of sanitation cycles on washers is up 85 percent, the company said.

The factory expansions, together with assembly line ramp-ups at Appliance Park’s three major manufacturing plants, are expected to create 260 new jobs.

“The investments and new jobs we are announcing … 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 CEO of GE Appliances. “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.”

GE, backed by Chinese corporate parent Haier Group, has invested $360 million in Appliance Park since 2017.

YSN is published by AVB Inc.